L'Orfeo, Monteverdi – Opera
Stephen Stubbs, Pierre Audi – John Mark Ainsley (Orfeo), Juanita Lascarro (Euridice) – De Nederlandse Opera
An unforgettable production of Monteverdi’s first operatic masterwork.
Just married, Orfeo and Eurydice enjoy their recent union. But the romance will not last. A messenger announces that Eurydice has just died bitten by a snake while she was walking along the river. Overwhelmed with grief, Orfeo decides to travel to the underworld, in an attempt to retrieve his wife. Charmed by Orfeo’s singing, Caron, the gatekeeper, and Pluto, the Prince of the underworld, allow Orfeo to go back to the world of the living in company of Eurydice. However, Pluto imposes one condition: Orfeo shall not turn round to see his beloved during their journey back.
L'Orfeo is the first opera that has survived in full, and the first masterwork of the genre. Following the stylistic research of their time, Monteverdi and his librettist Striggio aimed at recreating the theatre of Ancient Greece, mingling poetry and music in a single work. In this respect, the choice of the subject is revealing: Orfeo, figure of the accomplished poet and musician, is emblematic and embodies the aspiration of a whole artistic generation.
Intense and refined performances by an inspired cast, led by a profound and commanding John Mark Ainsley as the legendary tragic musician, are sustained with fluent ease and obvious affection by the ensemble under Stephen Stubbs. The beautifully styled, evocative stage production, rich with Pierre Audi’s trademark symbolism, underlines the solemn serenity of Monteverdi’s most famous piece as a moving and timeless experience.
Michael Simon set designer
Jorge Jara costumes
Jean Kalman lightings
John Mark Ainsley (Orfeo)
Juanita Lascarro (Euridice)
Brigitte Balleys (La Messaggera)
David Cordier (La Musica)
Michael Chance (La Speranza)
Mario Luperi (Caronte)
Bernarda Fink (Proserpina)
Dean Robinson (Plutone)
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Pastore I / Eco)
Russell Smythe (Pastore II)
Douglas Nasrawi (Pastore III)
Suzie Le Blanc (Ninfa)
Tragicommedia and Concerto Palatino
Stephen Stubbs musical direction
Movie director : Misjel Vermeiren
Duration : 02 h 00 min
Location : De Nederlandse Opera (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Production date : 1998
Production : © NPS
Available version(s) : IT ST EN, IT ST FR, IT ST ES