Monteverdi - L’Orfeo (DVD + Blu-ray) | Harmonia Mundi HMD980906263

Monteverdi - L’Orfeo (DVD + Blu-ray)


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Label: Harmonia Mundi

Cat No: HMD980906263

Format: DVD + Blu-ray

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 20th October 2017



Les Arts Florissants


Paul Agnew


Monteverdi, Claudio



Les Arts Florissants


Paul Agnew


Following on logically from his complete cycle of Monteverdi madrigals, Paul Agnew – here both conductor and stage director – presents his intimate and ‘sacred’ version of the composer’s first opera (and the first great opera in musical history). In a fine collective spirit, the singers and instrumentalists of Les Arts Florissants participate in the drama on equal terms, mingling in a single set that gives increased prominence to the (masterly) lighting and to the protagonists (overwhelmingly moving in their restrained movements and expressions): we are transported to the very heart of Monteverdi’s masterpiece, as if we had fallen into a painting by Nicolas Poussin, caught up in the mystical adventure of two lovers more mythical than ever.


There is a wondrous simplicity and beauty to Agnew’s staging, which looks as if Caravaggio painted an equinox ceremony taking place in a stone circle; nymphs and shepherds celebrate the marriage of Orfeo and Euridice while also worshipping the sun (ie Apollo, who watches immutably over the world of mortals from the back of the stage). La Musica’s prologue, sung beautifully by Hannah Morrison, is elegantly restrained in its physical stage movements. ...  Cyril Auvity’s tremulous and emphatic singing of the title-role has unstinting dramatic commitment: the shadowy silhouettes of the obbligato instrumentalists in ‘Possente spirto’ appear as if the underworld is conjured to do Orfeo’s bidding. ...the apotheosis in Act 5 has rarely seemed so touching and convincing as it does here.  David Vickers
Gramophone December 2017
Gramophone Award Winner

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