A classical tragedy of lacerating beauty and a celebration of the power of music to transform lives and even to transcend death itself, Orfeo ed Euridice, given its premiere in Vienna in 1762, was a milestone in operatic history. Gluck's score broke new ground with its insistence that music should reflect the intense emotions of the characters rather than serve as a vehicle for vacuous vocal display. Orfeo, is a mythic musician of antiquite, whose grief on the death of his wife Euridice is so profound that the gods, out of pity, allow him to descend to the Kingdom of Shades in order to restore her to life - on condition that during their journey back to the human world he should not look into Euridice's face. Concert performance. Sung in Italian. Running time approximately 2 hours.
Performers David Daniels (Orfeo), Susan Gritton (Euridice), Tristan Hambleton (Amor).
Music Christoph Willibald Gluck. Lyrics Ranieri de Calzabigi. Conductor Richard Hickox.