Orfeo at the Roundhouse
BBC Arts presented a live stream of the Roundhouse and Royal Opera House’s acclaimed co-production of Claudio Monteverdi’s masterpiece Orfeo, directed by Michael Boyd, from the Roundhouse in London on 21 January 2015.
Christopher Moulds conducted the Orchestra of the Early Opera Company, and the live stream was presented by former Royal Ballet School student and BBC Culture Show presenter Morgan Quaintance, alongside Roundhouse emerging artist Jane Barkley Young.
Considered the first great opera, it originally premiered on 24 February 1607 in Mantua. Monteverdi incorporated existing musical forms, such as madrigals and the newly developed recitative (singing with speech-like rhythms and minimal accompaniment) - but the result was revolutionary. Orfeo is rightly acclaimed as the first operatic work of art.
Former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Michael Boyd directs in his operatic debut, with a production that features post-graduate students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and participants of East London Dance.