I am Music and, with my sweet accents,
I know how to soothe tormented hearts
and inflame with love or noble wrath
even the coldest minds.
Thus begins Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, favola in musica, with this personalisation of Music, who has descended to Earth to enchant beings and to recount the story of Orpheus. He whose music charmed the stones, the streams and the wild beasts. He who loved Eurydice, lost her, went down to the Underworld to find her and lost her a second time. He whose ethereal voice had the power to force open the gates of the realm of the dead.
The first performance of L'Orfeo, in 1607 at the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, was long considered the birth of Western opera. Although this idea has since been overturned, Monteverdi's masterpiece remains a founding work of the genre: the perfect expression of Renaissance humanism, synthesising the musical and literary influences of his time.
The audiences of the Opéra national de Lorraine are well acquainted with Leonardo García Alarcón, who in recent seasons has conducted Alcina and Il Palazzo incantato, a work that he himself recreated. Convinced that "the spirit of the Baroque, the codes invented since Monteverdi in the musical laboratory of human emotions, continue to exist today through popular music from all over the world", the Argentinian conductor's work on the Baroque repertoire is as original as it is exciting. His fiery direction brings out an intense theatricality and powerful poetry in this Orfeo, presented in concert version.
L'Orfeo, favola in musica, opera in five acts with prologue
First performed at the Palazzo Ducale, Accademia degl'Invaghiti in Mantua, on 24 February 1607
Leonardo García Alarcón
Chamber Choir of Namur
Opera in concert version
Performed in Italian, with French surtitles
Venue Opera House
2h10 with interval
€ 3 - 38