William Matteuzzi (Orfeo), Sylva Pozzer (La Musica/Euridice), Sara Mingardo (La Messaggiera/Proserpina), Angela Bucci (La Speranza), Paolo Dal Dosso (Caronte), Loris Bertolo (Plutone), Gian Paolo Fagotto (Apollo)
Reissue in the Brilliant Classics Opera Collection of this excellent “HIP” performance of Monteverdi’s ever popular L’Orfeo, history’s first real opera. Soloists include the crème of Baroque Voices: the great Sara Mingardo, Sylvia Pozzer, Gabriella Martellacci, Gianpaolo Fagotto and the inspiring and historically based direction of Sergio Vartolo.
All libretti are available on www.brilliantoperacollection.com.
Narrating the famous tale of the Thracian singer Orpheus and his quest to the underworld to bring his wife, Euridice, back to the land of the living, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is one of the most enduringly popular of all operatic works.
Numerous performances continue to be staged to this day, and there are no signs of fading appreciation for the work, even four centuries after its first performance (in 1607). Sergio Vartolo’s fantastic, historically-informed interpretation presents an ideal opportunity for listeners to explore the reasons behind this opera’s vast and undiminishing popularity.
Monteverdi’s famed skill for giving full expression to a text’s meaning is particularly clear – shown, for example, in his careful deployment of dissonance for emotional impact, and in the immensely moving third-act aria. Beyond this, however, L’Orfeo’s ability to enthral audiences may lie in its celebration of the power and beauty of music; from the opening Prologue, where Music appears onstage to extol her virtues, to Orpheus’s ability to achieve the unthinkable and gain access to the underworld through his talent as a singer, music is the driving force of the opera’s action. This fantastic recording reveals the genius of Monteverdi’s work fully, featuring an exemplary and authentic interpretation that is the result of Sergio Vartolo’s thorough study of the score. Essential listening for any serious fans of opera, this set is also an excellent starting-point for exploring the music of Monteverdi, who has been dubbed the ‘creator of modern music’.
“Ably delivered by Itailan singers and players, but mannered effects - self-conscious musical direction, slow tempos - too often devalue idiomatic virtues.”
10th May 2013
“The singing is on a high level with a very good chorus and first class contributions from the many secondary singers. Sylvia Pozzer who sings Musica as well as Euridice, is lovely and fresh voiced...[Matteuzzi] is an excellent Orfeo, expressive and able to vary his tone exquisitely...[Mingardo] sings gloriously in Act IV”
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