Favola in musica in five acts
Production Tom Morris
Premiere 11. 6. 2022
What makes Claudio Monteverdi’s Favola d’Orfeo (Legend of Orpheus), premiered at the northern Italian court in Mantua in 1607, the very first opera? Naturally there were a few forerunners. However, for the first time the music in this work itself not only symbolically takes up the words as an allegory in the prologue but the entire scenic events are musically interwoven congenially. The Orpheus settings from the ancient and renaissance eras portrayed the mythical singer, who knew how to charm all nature and even softened the underworld, as rather more a virtuoso master of eloquence than an interpreter of music. It was only Monteverdi that by inviting a celebration of the achievements of a new "representative style" (stile rappresentativo) unleashed new musical driving forces. Polyphonic, lively dance-like, or solemnly measured choirs and a richly cast instrumental apparatus frame Monteverdi's tonal depiction of words and affect, that touches us to this day with undiminished freshness and depth of expression.
Director Tom Morris invites us all as visitors to a wedding party that he has imagined as the framework for his staging as a contemporary equivalent to the courtly festival.