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L’Orfeo

Claudio Monteverdi

This founding myth of modern opera and the cornerstone of the operatic genre presented as a favola in musica

Rolando Villazón
Rolando Villazón © Monika Hoefler
Book

Cast

Rolando Villazón Orfeo
Anne-Kathryn Olsen Euridice
Luciana Mancini Messaggiera
Céline Scheen Proserpina / La Musica
Benedetta Mazzucato Speranza / Ninfa
Vincenzo Capezzuto Pastore
Aidan Coburn Pastore / Echo / Spirito infernale
Zachary Wilder Pastore/ Spirito infernale
John Taylor Ward Pastore / Spirito infernale / Caronto
Dingle Yandell Pastore / Plutone / Spirito infernale
Benoît Arnould Spirito infernale / Apollo

Christina Pluhar direction
L’Arpeggiata

Sung in Italian with French and English subtitles

This favola in musica is considered to be the first masterpiece in the history of opera. Looking beyond this pedigree, it is above all the expression of Monteverdi’s unique dramatic genius, and his ability to combine theatre, music and emotion – an ideal to which great opera composers still aspire to this day. In Orfeo, Monteverdi makes the mythical figure of the poet seeking his beloved in the Underworld an extraordinarily human and incredibly modern character. In a Florence still shaped by the Renaissance, Monteverdi invents a new form with the full range of musical resources at his disposal. He creates a dazzling synthesis with arias both sung and declaimed in turn, dances with lush music, bucolic ensembles, dazzling flights of choral singing, and an orchestra which fully engages with the tragic tale. Music sums up the aim in the Prologue: “to draw men’s souls to the heavens”. Monteverdi certainly leads us there.

Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées