At the centre of this season sits Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice. Gluck was, after Mozart, the most radical composer of opera during the classical period. His focus on harmonic shifts and modulation raised the genre to new emotional heights; so important were his changes that his mature works are known as ‘reform operas.’ The version performed here will be the revised 1774 form, rewritten in French and expanded to be more grandiose than in its original Italian form.
Orfeo takes the tragic classical narrative and turns it into a celebration of passion, presided over by love himself. Beyond the chorus, there are only three roles, for which Covent Garden has assembled a veritable power trio of singers. Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez will make sweet music as Orpheus, while the beloved soprano Lucy Crowe, a Handel and Haydn expert, will be his beloved wife Eurydice. Rising star Amanda Forsythe will preside over their travails as Amore.
But this is more than a conventional performance of a classic opera. Director John Fulljames (Donna del lago) will be sharing his chair with Hofesh Shechter (Uprising), choreographer de jour. Shechter’s own company will join the singers on stage, creating a perfect fusion of sound and vision that looks set to highlight Gluck’s mesmerising dance music. And if that wasn’t enough, period instrument supremo John Eliot Gardiner will conduct his own Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, ensuring everything stays true to Gluck’s own ambitions. In the hands of these three leading figures, this looks likely to be a true landmark production.
|What||Orphée et Eurydice, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
14 Sep 15 – 03 Oct 15, 7:30 PM – 10:15 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House|