Opera Explained - An Introduction to Monteverdi's Orfeo

Naxos: 8558174

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Opera Explained - An Introduction to Monteverdi's Orfeo



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Release date:

27th Oct 2008




76 minutes


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Opera Explained - An Introduction to Monteverdi's Orfeo



An introduction to the Opera

David Timson (narrator)


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12-page booklet

Written by Thomson Smillie

This audiobook series introduces, in words and music, the plot and background of major operas. Using the principal themes and arias, taken from the Naxos recordings of the complete works, the presentation is informative yet entertaining, enabling the listener to get more from this remarkable art form.

Monteverdi's Orfeo, first performed in 1607, generates a special excitement because it is the first unquestioned masterpiece of opera.

Notable for its precise orchestration and powerful drama it was a groundbreaking work. It concerns the legend of Orpheus, the demi-god whose music had the power to conquer the forces of Hell and to bring his wife back, briefly, to life.

The extracts used in this introduction are from Naxos’s full recording; it uses authentic period instruments, which serve to evoke the early Baroque period of the opera’s composition.

Claudio Monteverdi: Introduction to … MONTEVERDI Orfeo

Background: Introduction

Background: Monteverdi's early life and education

Background: Monteverdi's other operas and performance practice

Orfeo: Prologue

Orfeo: A shepherd summons the chorus to sing

Orfeo: Orpheus is told that Eurydice is dead

Orfeo: Expressions of grief from the chorus and shepherds

Orfeo: Orpheus descends into hell

Orfeo: Charon's response to Orpheus

Orfeo: Pluto's pronouncement

Orfeo: Doubts assail Orpheus

Orfeo: Orpheus's long lament and the first ending

Orfeo: The second ending

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