Visually hip (but not overbearingly so), the staging, directed with abundant imagination and momentum by James Marvel, provides an engaging vehicle for a cast that treats the opera as if it were written last week, not in 1640. Yes, there was the occasional "white" tone favored by early music specialists, during Friday night's opening performance, but there was a lot of vibrant, sometimes downright Verdian singing, too, a lot of personality-filled phrasing from the young, energetic ensemble. No one held back. No one settled for history lesson primness. This was hot music-making, aided every step of the way by conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who maintained a telling pulse even as he allowed for exquisite, unhurried molding of the most lyrical passages.