FAVOLA IN MUSICA IN A PROLOGUE AND FIVE ACTS
LIBRETTO BY ALESSANDRO STRIGGIO THE YOUNGER
FIRST PERFORMED ON 24 FEBRUARY 1607 AT PALAZZO DUCALE OF MANTOUE

— OPERA IN CONCERT VERSION

ELIZABETH ET VINCENT MEYER SUPPORT THE SERIES OF OPERAS IN CONCERT VERSION

Conductor
Leonardo García Alarcón
Orfeo
Valerio Contaldo*
La Musica, Euridice
Mariana Flores*
La Messaggiera
Coline Dutilleul
La Speranza, Proserpina
Anna Reinhold
Plutone
Alejandro Meerapfel
Caronte
Salvo Vitale
Pastore I, Spirito III, Eco
Nicholas Scott
Pastore III, Apollo
Alessandro Giangrande
Pastore II
Leandro Marziotte
Ninfa
Julie Roset*
Pastore IV
Matteo Bellotto
Chorus
Chœur de chambre de Namur
Chorus Coach
Thibaut Lenaerts
Orchestra
Cappella Mediterranea
*Former artists of the Académie

When he sings, you would think that he is calling for a shadow
that he once saw in the forest
and that he, even at the cost of his soul, would have to retain...

Philippe Jaccottet, « En écoutant Monteverdi » (1990)

The myth of Orpheus – a poet who, by the grace of his singing alone, obtains from the Underworld the return of the woman he loves and who died too soon – haunts the origins of lyric theatre. Echoing Monteverdi's last opera, The Coronation of Poppea, Leonardo García Alarcón and Cappella Mediterranea give a concert version of L'Orfeo, the composer's first opera – often considered to be the first work in the opera genre. In this humanist praise of the civilising power of art and control of passions, which ends in a luminous grand finale, Monteverdi deploys a wealth of forms, styles, and atmospheres: numerous dance rhythms, speech-like declamations, and beautiful melodic inspirations, alongside the most remarkable vocalises. Valerio Contaldo – previously Testo in Combattimento, the Black Swan Theory (2021) – takes on another of Monteverdi’s exceptionally complex and virtuoso scores, culminating in the crossing into the Underworld where beauty vies with difficulty.

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