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Encyclopedia > Orfeo ed Euridice

Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The libretto was written by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It was first performed in Vienna on October 5, 1762. The foyer of Charles Garniers Opéra, Paris, opened 1875 Opera is an art form consisting of a dramatic stage performance set to music. ... Gluck, detail of a portrait by Joseph Duplessis, dated 1775 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) Christoph Willibald Gluck (July 2, 1714 – November 15, 1787) was a German composer. ... Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]) is the capital of Austria, and also one of Austrias nine federal states (Bundesland Wien). ... October 5 is the 278th day of the year (279th in Leap years). ... 1762 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


The opera is the first by Gluck showing signs of his ambition to reform opera seria. Self-contained numbers (aria, choruses and so on) make way for shorter pieces strung together to make larger structural units. Da capo arias are notable by their absence; Gluck instead uses strophic form (in act one's "Chiamo il mio ben cosi", for example, in which each verse is interposed with dramatic recitatives) and rondo form (in act three's famous "Che faro senza Euridice?"), and simple recitatives accompanied only by the basso continuo are also absent. On the whole, old operatic conventions are disregarded in favour of giving the action dramatic impetus. Opera seria is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and serious style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1720s to ca 1770. ... This article is about the musical term aria. ... For the communications operator see Chorus Communications For the computer operating system see ChorusOS In classical music a chorus is any substantial group of performers in a play, revue, musical or opera who act more or less as one. ... The da capo aria was a musical form prevalent in the Baroque era. ... Strophic form, or chorus form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... Rondo, and its French equivalent rondeau, is a word that has been used in music in a number of ways, most often in reference to a musical form, but also in reference to a character-type that is distinct from the form. ... Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ...


For a 1774 Paris production of the work, Gluck expanded and rewrote parts of the opera, creating a new version, Orph̩e et Eurydice (libretto translated into French and expanded by Pierre-Louis Moline). He also changed the role of Orpheus from a part for a castrato to one for high tenor (the French never used castrati). In the 19th century, Hector Berlioz made a version of the opera which combined the two versions - in his day, Orpheus was generally sung by a female alto or a tenor. A castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced by castration of the singer before puberty. ... In music, a tenor is a male singer with a high voice (although not as high as a countertenor). ... Portrait of Berlioz by Signol, 1832 Louis Hector Berlioz (December 11, 1803 РMarch 8, 1869) was a French Romantic composer best known for the Symphonie fantastique, first performed in 1830, and for his Grande Messe des morts (Requiem) of 1837, with its tremendous resources that include four antiphonal brass choirs. ... The word alto may refer to: an experimental personal computer designed by Xerox at the Palo Alto Research Center: see Alto (computer). ... In music, a tenor is a male singer with a high voice (although not as high as a countertenor). ...


Orfeo ed Euridice is part of the standard operatic repertoire. There are a number of recordings of it, and it is regularly performed. This page lists famous operas arranged by composer. ...


Among other operas based on the story of Orpheus and Euridice are Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo, Jacques Offenbach's operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, Orpheus operas by Franz Joseph Haydn and Georg Philipp Telemann, and Harrison Birtwistle's The Mask of Orpheus. The head of Orpheus, from an 1865 painting by Gustave Moreau. ... In Greek mythology, there were two characters named Eurydice, or Eurydíkê. The more famous was a woman - or a nymph - named Eurydice who was the wife of Orpheus. ... Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi in Venice, 1640, by Bernardo Strozzi Claudio Monteverdi (May 15, 1567 (baptised) – November 29, 1643) was an Italian composer, violinist and singer. ... Orfeo (LOrfeo, favola in musica) is one of the earliest works recognized as an opera, composed by Claudio Monteverdi with text by Alessandro Striggio for the annual carnival of Mantua. ... Missing image Image:JacquesOffenbach. ... Orphée aux enfers is an operetta in two acts by Jacques Offenbach. ... (Franz) Joseph Haydn (in German, Josef; he never used the Franz) (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was a leading composer of the classical period. ... Georg Philipp Telemann (March 14, 1681–June 25, 1767) was a German Baroque music composer, born in Magdeburg. ... Sir Harrison Paul Birtwistle, CH (born July 15, 1934) is a British composer, widely seen as one of the most significant modern composers from that country. ... The Mask of Orpheus is an opera with music by Harrison Birtwistle and a libretto by Peter Zinovieff. ...

Contents


Synopsis

Act I

A chorus of nymphs and shepherds accompany Orfeo around Euridice's tomb in a solemn chorus of mourning. Orfeo is only able to utter Euridice's name. Orfeo sends the others away and sings of his grief in the aria "Chiamo il mio ben cosi", the three verses of which are interrupted by expressive recitatives. Amore (Cupid) appears telling Orfeo that he may go to the Underworld and return with his wife on the condition that he not look at her until they are back on earth. Orfeo resolves to take on the quest (in the 1774 version, both Amore and Orfeo have extra songs). Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse In Greek mythology, a nymph is any member of a large class of female nature spirits, sometimes bound to a particular location or landform. ... Cupidon (French for Cupid), by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1875 This article is about the Roman god, for other meanings see Cupid (disambiguation). ...


Act II

In a rocky landscape, the Furies refuse to admit Orfeo to the Underworld, and sing of Cerberus, canine guardian of the Underworld. When Orfeo, accompanied by his lyre (represented in the opera by a harp), begs for pity in the aria "Deh placatevi con me", he is at first interrupted by cries of "No!" from the Furies, but they are eventually softened by the sweetness of his singing and let him in. In the 1774 version, the scene ends with the "Dance of the Furies". In Greek mythology the Erinyes (the Romans called them the Furies) were female personifications of vengeance. ... In Greek mythology, Cerberus (from Κέρβερος, Kerberos, demon of the pit), was the hound of Hades—a monstrous three-headed dog (sometimes said to have 50 or 100 heads), (sometimes) with a snake for a tail and innumerable snake heads on his back. ... A Lyre is a stringed musical instrument well known for its use in Classical Antiquity. ... The harp is a chordophone whose strings are positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. ...


The new scene opens in Elysium. The 1774 version includes here the much-excerpted "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" in which a chorus sings of their happiness in eternal bliss. Orfeo finds no solace in the beauty of the surroundings, for Euridice is not yet with him. He implores the spirits to bring her to him, which they do. In changing European conceptions of the afterlife, Elysium or the Elysian Fields have changed their character too. ...


Act III

On the way out of Hades, Euridice is delighted to be returning to earth, but Orfeo, remembering the condition related by Amore in Act I, lets go of her hand and refuses to look at her. Euridice takes this to be a sign that he no longer loves her, and refuses to continue, concluding that death would be preferable. Unable to take any more, Orfeo turns and looks and Euridice; she dies. Orfeo sings of his grief in the famous aria "Che faro senza Euridice?" Hades (Greek: - Hadēs or - Háidēs) (unseen) means both the ancient Greek abode of the dead and the god of that underworld. ...


Orfeo decides he will kill himself to join Euridice in Hades, but Amore returns to stop him. In reward for Orfeo's continued love, Amore returns Euridice to life, and she and Orfeo are reunited. All sing in praise of Amore (in the 1774 version, this finale is greatly expanded, including a ballet).


  Results from FactBites:
 
Orfeo ed Euridice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (704 words)
Act II In a rocky landscape, the Furies refuse to admit Orfeo to the Underworld, and sing of Cerberus, canine guardian of the Underworld.
When Orfeo, accompanied by his lyre (represented in the opera by a harp), begs for pity in the aria Deh placatevi con me, he is at first interrupted by cries of "No!" from the Furies, but they are eventually softened by the sweetness of his singing and let him in.
Euridice takes this to be a sign that he no longer loves her, and refuses to continue, concluding that death would be preferable.
Encyclopedia: Orfeo ed Euridice (1565 words)
Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck.
Orfeo (LOrfeo, favola in musica) is one of the earliest works recognized as an opera, composed by Claudio Monteverdi with text by Alessandro Striggio for the annual carnival of Mantua.
Orfeo sings of his grief in the famous aria "Che faro senza Euridice?" Hades (Greek: - Hadēs or - Háidēs) (unseen) means both the ancient Greek abode of the dead and the god of that underworld.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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