Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Monteverdi’s ‘fable in music’ is arguably the first great masterpiece of the operatic stage, some four centuries after it was composed, L’Orfeo remains one of the most potent explorations of the Orpheus myth ever conceived – an audacious debut about the power of music itself.
Tracing a spellbinding trajectory from elation through despair to acceptance via heavenly intervention, it tells the story of love’s young dream, cruelly compromised when death separates Orpheus and his new bride Eurydice. Spurred on by Hope, assisted by the persuasive power of his song, Orpheus gains admission to the Underworld only to fail in his attempt to rescue Eurydice when he looks back fearing she is not following. Whether in the opera’s Arcadian sweetness and light, the showstopping virtuosity of Orpheus’ entreaty to the boatman Charon, or the unbearable pathos of his Act V lament, L’Orfeo unfolds a score – rich in colourful chorus work – that sears and delights.
Sung in Italian with surtitles.
Introducing Monteverdi 450 video clip: https://youtu.be/dQ7ZY70ghd4