Opera • Director: Iván Fischer • Conductor: Iván Fischer • Performed by the Chorus and Dance Ensemble of the Iván Fischer Opera Company and the Budapest Festival Orchestra on period instruments • A production of the Iván Fischer Opera Company, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Müpa Budapest, the Vicenza Opera Festival and the Grand Théâtre de Genéve
Claudio Monteverdi: La favola d’Orfeo
Emőke Baráth (Euridice, La Musica)
Valerio Contaldo (Orfeo)
Michal Czerniawski (Pastore, Speranza)
Cyril Auvity (Pastore, Spirito)
Francisco Fernández-Rueda (Pastore, Spirito)
Peter Harvey (Pastore, Plutone)
Núria Rial (Ninfa, Proserpina, Baccante)
Antonio Abete (Caronte, Spirito)
Luciana Mancini (La Messagiera, Baccante)
Iván Fischer premieres a new production each year with his opera company. This season, it will be Monteverdi’s first opera, L’Orfeo.
The piece is often called La favola d'Orfeo (The Tale of Orpheus) because this is the original title under which the audience of Mantua first encountered the masterpiece at its 1607 premiere. Its ending, too, was different than the finale widely known today. The original libretto had the opera ending not with the descent of benevolent Apollo, and Orpheus’s transport to the heavens, but with a wild bacchanalia and the killing of the titular hero. We will be staging this original version, with Iván Fischer’s reconstruction of the missing musical part.
The creators of last year’s successful performance of Falstaff will be responsible for this production as well; after Budapest, audiences will have the opportunity to see it in Vicenza and Geneva. Soloists will include singers from the world over, with the Hungarian Emőke Baráth and the Italian Valerio Contaldo featured in the main roles. The dancers are working with choreographer Sigrid T’Hooft, one of the foremost experts of Baroque steps, who has supported the orchestra’s performances of early music for years.
Iván Fischer published his thoughts regarding L’Orfeo in a series of blog posts shared on his Facebook page. He is fascinated above all by the figure cast by this mysterious and magical mythological singer, and the role this cult character played in the years of transition between the Renaissance and the Baroque. He describes how Platonic love clashes with those devoted to worldly pleasures, and why he ultimately chose to perform the first Renaissance version of the piece.