025) Orfeo ed Euridice: The First of the Italian Reform Operas

An eighteenth-century Bavarian (Christoph Willibald Gluck) studies music in Milan; learns about French drama during his travels to Paris; and teams up with a notable Italian poet (Ranieri de’Calzabigi)… to realize his ideal of an all-encompassing operatic-theatrical experience: Orfeo ed Euridice (based on Ovid’s tale of Orpheus in his Metamorphoses), the first opera to emphasize musical and dramatic refinement rather than vocal pyrotechnics; and now the oldest opera in the standard repertoire. In our exploration of the opera, we use bilingual (Italian-English) texts, to introduce and/or reinforce basic language skills; and to deepen appreciation of that interrelationship between the music and the language which is unique to opera. The instructor will host an optional trip to the Metropolitan Opera’s production (Sunday matinée, at Lincoln Center, May 19th).