By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
The vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, working with the innovative opera director Christopher Alden, comes to National Sawdust in Brooklyn with a staged version of a Handel rarity: the 1708 dramatic serenata “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo.” Perhaps courting controversy, the production apparently finds parallels between Handel’s telling of Ovid’s mythological tale and the current American era under President Trump, roiling with issues of class, power and crudeness.
The countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo will perform at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. Credit Zach Hilty/BFA
This production, a four-performance run that begins Wednesday, July 12, employs multidimensional video and reimagined recitatives by the composer and sound designer Mark Grey. As adapted here, the story tells of two servants, Aci and Galatea, who tend to and bathe a sexually aggressive lord, Polifemo (the Cyclops). The performance also features the vocalists Ambur Braid and Devóne Tines and Ruckus, a period instrument ensemble. This venture follows upon National Sawdust’s inventive operatic presentation “Orphic Moments” last year, featuring a triumphant Mr. Costanzo. (Also July 13, 19 and 20; nationalsawdust.org.)