by Paola Livorsi

Chamber opera

Empty sheet

Paola Livorsi



Opera, dance and visual arts come together in the multidisciplinary work MEDUSA, inspired by the paintings of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and the madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa (1566–1613). Medusa is a one-act performance that combines opera, dance and visual arts. The music is an organic interweaving of contemporary music composed by Paola Livorsi and the revolutionary Early Baroque harmony of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. The libretto is based on Caravaggio's life and ancient texts, which Livorsi and Orava compiled of Latin, Italian and ancient Greek poems. The world premiere of Medusa takes place at the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival 2022.
Both Caravaggio and Gesualdo were abusers and murderers. At the same time, they are the most ingenious innovators in the history of Western art and music. Medusa’s ever-present themes - narcissism and power - are discussed through the ancient fables of Narcissus and Medusa. As a result of narcissism, a person becomes petrified as if under the gaze of Medusa. Evil creates its face through violence. The grueling relationship between Caravaggio's character (Jouka Valkama) and his boy lover (Piia Komsi) runs through different scenes of the story.

Production: Exit3 company, Helsingin Oopperakesä, Sibelius-Akatemia

Performers: Piia Komsi, voice and cello
Angel Molinos clarinets
Eva Alkula koto
Ville Syriäläinen percussion
Paola Livorsi composer/percussion/sounds
Esther Calderón Morales sound engineer
Sara Orava lavastus, ohjaus
Paola Livorsi, Sara Orava libretto
Milla Eloranta koreografi / tanssija
Jouka Valkama, Anneke Lönnroth, Mira Ollila, Aapo Siikala tanssijat


sopr, cl+bcl+bhn+cl inEb, 2vlc, koto, 2perc, 5dancer


Works for the Stage


Prologue, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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