L’Orfeo tells the story of Orpheus, who loses his beloved bride Eurydice. Overwhelmed by infinite grief, he descends to the underworld to get her back, but one moment of doubt means that he has to relinquish her forever to the world of the dead. Orpheus is catapulted back and forth between love and loss, hope and dismay, expressed by Monteverdi in a powerful emotional dialogue between the orchestra and the singers.
Monteverdi’s ‘favola in musica’ or musical fable L’Orfeo is divided into five acts, with an alternation of solos and madrigals and an extensive instrumental ensemble. It is considered to be the first opera in history. The text is the basis for the musical composition, but harmony, rhythm and instrumentation also contribute to its incredible expressiveness and richness of sound. Monteverdi is rightly considered to rank among the greatest artists and scientists of his time, such as Galileo, Shakespeare, Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian and Tintoretto.
The concert by I Fagiolini promises to be a breathtaking finale to Laus Polyphoniae 2018. 411 years after it was first performed, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is still an unmissable experience.