Christoph Willibald Gluck, an acclaimed composer and influential reformer, whose youth and musical beginnings are linked with Bohemia and Prague, gained worldwide fame owing to his unceasing quest to change the face of opera, to purge it of vocal exhibitionism and draw it nearer to drama and theatre, to find in it – as he put it – “beautiful simplicity”. The first and most famous of Gluck’s operas written in the new reformatory style is Orfeo ed Euridice, dating from 1762. The composer eschews completely the traditional operatic pomposity, inclining instead to an intensive and well-considered musico-dramatic language drawn from the logic and atmosphere of the mythical story of suffering from the loss of the beloved, love that is capable of performing miracles, as well as the weakness that hinders these miracles. Against the grain of Italian opera practice, Gluck markedly increased the role played by the chorus and ballet, he only maintained three soloists – in addition to the two lead characters, the allegoric Amore, a comforter who ultimately brings the imperfect human to the longed-for destination. In Gluck’s adaptation, the famous Greek myth has an introspective, meditative, psychological, hence also extremely timeless, nature. We will be presenting Gluck’s opera in the Italian version, with Orfeo sung by a baritone.
News About Orfeo ed Euridice at Metropolitan Opera House
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