Monteverdi - L'Orfeo
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Top Customer Reviews
As La Musica sings (from the pit) her double, an aerialist, is seen flying high above the stage executing intricate, gravity defying feats against an immense circle of blue providing the first of many jaw dropping moments in
an evening full of them.
I was slightly disappointed by the costuming which for the ensembles (both chorus and dancers) seemed to be couture-like outsized white, wide lapelled jackets (think David Byrne). Euridice is given a blue, balloon-style gown
while Orfeo's costume can best be described as a mustardy nehruy-pajama like ensemble.
Within minutes the costumes are forgotten and focus is on the intricate and near perpetual movement/choreography, lighting, special effects and beautiful singing. Everyone is unshod, perhaps to minimize stage noise but, in mythological tales I always find bare feet an interesting symbolic choice.
Movement has rarely been better used and integrated in an opera than it is here. One madrigal has the singers each pushing the other out of the way in order to get to the front giving the effect of an endless boiling bubble, or a cell dividing and exploding/evolving into something else, injectingn an element of fun into what is often beautiful but static.Read more ›
The disappoinment begins at the very outset with the spirit of music dancing on wires above the darkened stage in a circle of light. The constant cuts to close-ups of Rene Jacobs in the pit destroyed the effect of this stunning performance. Indeed, throughout the recording, the use of close-ups loses the wonderful movement that was resposible for the beauty of this production.
In addition, some sound problems are very obvious at the beginging of the opera. Either they corrected it or I became used to the sound as it was not as apparent later on.
All that being said, this is a beautiful production. Simon Keelyside is magnificent, the music wonderful and, perhaps, if I had not seen the production live I would have thought more highly of the DVD. It's a shame that the video staff did not demonstrate the same high level of artistry of the cast and musicians.
This may disappoint those who watch it as opera and those who watch it as dance, but viewed with an open mind, it is amazing theatre. There are no "sets" worth speaking about. Normally, this has me shrieking for my money back, but here, backdrops and lights worked beautifully in place of conventional sets. The transitions between this world and the underworld is brilliantly done, and very gripping, and it is achieved with lighting and a partition. There is a circle in the backdrop, used brilliantly in every scene in the opera.
Like a previous reviewer, I was disappointed with the costumes. They were certainly not Greek. Perhaps they were designed for free movement since the chorus and the dancers have to keep moving most of the time. I did like the bare feet. Dancers in India always perform in bare feet, so I guess that chimed with me. Simon Keenlyside is a magnificent Orfeo, the only close rival is the Caronte and the two together are nearly overwhelming. Well, there are exceptions. Pluto and Proserpina's costumes, as well as that of Apollo are great, but then these are characters that are mostly stationary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the accompany 'making-of' documentary more interesting than watching the full opera, straight through. Read morePublished on February 16, 2014 by Jan Cambria
I like this opera very much, is a good one and the voice of Simon Keenlyside is just amazing, love it.Published on January 10, 2014 by chacha
What a wonderful performance...quality is great and keenlyside is wonderful...I am new to classical...and just adore his voice...you won't regret this purchase....Published on August 30, 2007 by gerwill