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Another alternative version is Orphée et Euridice, but this time a bona fide reworking by the composer. Gluck revised his original 1762 opera, composed for Vienna to an Italian libretto, to a French version written for Paris 12 years later. One major change was to make Orfeo, a counter tenor, into Orphée, a haute-contre, or high tenor. Few singers today would be better to tackle this role than Juan Diego Flórez, who sails through the vocals unscathed; he is a bit low-key dramatically in Act I, but gets more involved once he hits the underworld. Christiane Karg is an eloquent and tragic Euridice, Fatma Said a sparkling Amor. Michele Mariotti leads a crisp and bright modern instrument performance. What you may love or loathe is the production, filmed at La Scala last year after well-received performances at Covent Garden. Choregorapher Hofesh Shechter and director John Fulljames are teh creative masterminds, with Shechter’s dance company providing the moves. The setting is spare and spacious, the Personengegie detailed and physical. I didn’t love the choreography, which is superbly performed, finding it somewhat prosaic. But there is a sense of satisfying completeness to the whole enterprise.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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