OPERA IN FOUR ACTS
LIBRETTO BY PIERRE-LOUIS MOLINE BASED ON RANIERI DE’CALZABIGI’S
VERSION OF ORPHÉE ET EURYDICE (PARIS, 1774) EDITED BY HECTOR BERLIOZ INSPIRED BY ORFEO ED EURIDICE (VIENNA, 1762)
FIRST PERFORMED ON 19 NOVEMBER 1859 AT THÉÂTRE-LYRIQUE
— OPERA IN CONCERT VERSION
ELIZABETH ET VINCENT MEYER SUPPORT THE SERIES OF OPERAS IN CONCERT VERSION
This music drives me crazy: it drags me away. My soul craves this kind of pain.
Julie de Lespinasse, in a letter from 22 October 1774
The myth of Orpheus was essential at the time of the birth of opera, but it also accompanied some of its greatest reforms. Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion present in concert version his other most famous operatic avatar as a mirror image of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo: Gluck's Orpheus, which is the quintessence of the sublime and praises a simple and touching beauty ideal, a century and a half later. Orfeo uses the sheer force of his singing and lyre to bend the infernal chorus: placed in between fierce and elegiac dances, it is one of the most poignant passages in the history of opera. Here you will mainly hear the adaptation Berlioz made of this work in 1859 for the great Pauline Viardot. Emily D’Angelo – a mezzo-soprano combining majestic technique and fiery character – makes both her role and Festival debut; Sabine Devieilhe's ardent Euridice and Lea Desandre's mischievous Amor accompany her on this initiatory quest.