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Opera Matinée: Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice

Tom McKinney presents a performance of Gluck's three-act opera Orfeo ed Euridice from Italian Radio.

Tom McKinney presents a performance of Gluck's three-act opera from Italian Radio, recorded at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome.

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Orfeo ed Euridice, opera in three acts, based on the myth of Orpheus

Librettist: Ranieri de Calzabigi (1714-1795)

Cast:

Orfeo.......Carlo Vistoli (countertenor)
Euridice....Mariangela Sicilia (soprano)
Amore......Emőke Baráth (soprano)
Rome Opera Chorus
Roberto Gabbiani (chorus director)
Rome Opera Orchestra
Gianluca Capuano (conductor)

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Orfeo ed Euridice - Act 1

    Performer: Carlo Vistoli. Performer: Mariangela Sicilia.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Orfeo ed Euridice - Act 2

    Performer: Carlo Vistoli. Performer: Mariangela Sicilia.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Orfeo ed Euridice - Act 3

    Performer: Carlo Vistoli. Performer: Mariangela Sicilia.
  • Gustav Holst

    Scherzo

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Gerard Schurmann

    The Gambler: suite from the film score

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Rumon Gamba.
  • Frederic Cowen

    Reverie

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Rumon Gamba.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16

    Performer: Sunwook Kim. Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic.
  • Claude Debussy

    Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

    Performer: Sunwook Kim.
  • Georges Auric

    Passport to Pimlico: The Seige of Burgundy

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Rumon Gamba.

SYNOPSIS

ACT I

A lonely grove—Euridice’s grave.

Nymphs and shepherds lament the death of Euridice, who was bitten by a snake (“Ah, se intorno a quest’urna funesta”). Left alone, Orfeo, Euridice’s husband, adds his voice to the rites (“Chiamo il mio ben così”). Only Echo replies. Orfeo vows to rescue Euridice from the underworld (“Numi! barbari numi”).

Amor, god of love, appears with word that Jove, pitying Orfeo, will allow him to descend into the land of the dead to retrieve Euridice. To make this trial more difficult, Orfeo must neither look at Euridice, nor explain why looking is forbidden. Otherwise he will lose her forever (“Gli sguardi trattieni”). Orfeo agrees and begins his voyage. 

ACT II

The Gate of Hades.

Furies and ghosts try to deny Orfeo’s passage to the underworld (“Chi mai dell’Erebo”). His lament softens and placates them. He is eventually allowed to pass through to the Elysian Fields.

Elysium.  

Orfeo is moved by the beauty of the landscape (“Che puro ciel”). Heroes and heroines bring Euridice to him (“Torna, o bella, al tuo consorte”). Without looking at her, he takes her away. 

ACT III

A dark labyrinth.

Orfeo leads Euridice toward the upper world, forbidden to look at her (“Vieni, segui i miei passi”). Orfeo can’t explain (“Vieni, appaga il tuo consorte!”). Euridice panics at the thought of a life without the love of Orfeo (“Che fiero momento”). In desperation he turns to her. She dies, again. Grief-stricken, Orfeo wonders how he can live without her (“Che farò senza Euridice?”). He decides to kill himself. Amor appears and stays Orfeo’s hand. In response to Orfeo’s deep love and devotion, Amor revives Euridice. The three return to Earth.

The Temple of Love.

Orfeo, Euridice, Amor, the nymphs, and the shepherds all celebrate the power of love (“Trionfi Amore!”).

Broadcast