Monteverdi's L'Orfeo

Pauline Bayle (stage director), Jordi Savall (conductor) — With Marc Mauillon (Orfeo), Luciana Mancini (La Musica/Euridice), Marianne Beate Kielland (La Speranza/Proserpina), Furio Zanasi (Apollo), Salvo Vitale (Caronte/Plutone) …

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Pauline Bayle — Stage director

Emmanuel Clolus — Set designer

Bernadette Villard — Costumes

Pascal Noël — Lighting

Céline Gaudier — Assistant stage director

Marc Mauillon — Orfeo

Luciana Mancini — La Musica/Euridice

Sara Mingardo — La Messaggera

Marianne Beate Kielland — La Speranza/Proserpina

Furio Zanasi — Apollo

Salvo Vitale — Caronte/Plutone

Lise Viricel — Ninfa

Victor Sordo — Pastore I/Spirito II

Gabriel Diaz — Pastore II/Spirito IV

Alessandro Giangrande — Pastore III/Spirito I/Eco

Yannis François — Pastore IV/ Spirito III

Program notes

Rediscover the epic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in Monteverdi's ageless L'Orfeo—the oldest opera still performed today! In a stark and refined mise en scène, featuring gorgeous costumes by Bernadette Villard and striking lighting design by Pascal Noël, the excellent soloists more than do justice to this monument of the operatic repertoire—under the direction of the great Jordi Savall, who has done more to popularize early music and the work of Monteverdi than perhaps anyone else alive.

Over the course of this enchanting drama, it is La Musique herself who first greets the public (the marvelous Luciana Mancini, who also plays the role of Eurydice). The plot follows its irrevocable course: soon after marrying Orpheus (the celebrated Marc Mauillon), the beautiful dryad Eurydice falls victim to a fatal snake bite. Despair overwhelms Orpheus's fellow shepherds, but he refuses to abandon hope, and—guided by Espérance (Hope)—takes up the route toward Hell in search of his betrothed. Pluto, god of the underworld, agrees to allow her to ascend back to the mortal plane—under one condition: on their journey back, Orpheus must not look back at Eurydice. Tragically, he yields to the temptation to turn around, and Eurydice is lost forever to the underworld. Orpheus, devastated, is comforted by Apollo, god of the arts, leaving us with a clear message: in difficult times, art and hope are steadfast allies that one must always keep close.

The decision to produce this opera in June 2021 was not without significance for the opera stage and the performers. In the words of Agnès Terrier, dramaturge at the Opéra-Comique, "After 15 months of pandemic hell, with all our artists guided by La Musica, let us bring light back into the theatre!"

Photo © Stefan Brion

This is just one of hundreds of stunning operas available on medici.tv, the web's leading classical music streaming platform!

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