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Orphée et Euridice inaugurates the 84th Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
On the podium the main conductor Daniele Gatti, directed by Pierre Audi, protagonists on stage Anna Prohaska, Juan Francisco Gatell, Sara Blanch. Gluck's masterpiece, never performed in the May edition of the French edition, will be staged until 23 April

Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Foundation Presents

Opens The84th Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino: the principal director Daniele Gatti, at the helm of the Choir and Orchestra del Maggio, the April 12 with the inaugural work “Orphée et Euridice” by Christoph Willibald Gluck, which for the first time arrives in May in the French version. The direction of the new staging is by Pierre Audi, scenes and lights are signed by Jean Kalman, the costumes from Haider Ackermann, the videos are from Gilbert Nouno, the choreography of Arno Schuitemaker, the choirmaster is Lorenzo Fratini.

The protagonists on stage are the famous Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska who plays Euridice, the Argentine Juan Francisco Gatell, one of the most popular tenors of recent years, in the role of Orphée (part supported by Michele Angelini in the performance of April 13) and the Catalan soprano Will be Blanch, Love.

It is therefore a work that tells the famous story of Orpheus and Eurydice (in a version with a happy ending) to open the2022 edition of May Musical Florentine, placed under the sign of Mythology, ofLove and of fabula, emblematic fil rouge that will unfold over the three months of the festival's programming.

Maestro Daniele Gatti, principal conductor of the Maggio, will conduct for the first time the masterpiece by Christoph Willibald Gluck, the symbolic work of the melodrama reform. It was the October 5, 1762 when theOrpheus and Eurydice by the German composer, on libretto by Ranieri de 'Calzabigi, was first staged at the Burgtheater in Vienna. A crucial date in the history of the opera, which marked a turning point, with the two authors determined to bring back the music "to his real office of serving poetry", After decades in which the metastasian model of the serious opera had been worn down by mechanical repetitions and an excess of singing virtuosity, in which the arias with da capo had become the favorite terrain of castrati and prima donnas to vent vocal acrobatics of all born in defiance of the natural needs of the drama. In the'Orpheus in fact everything is marked by a new climate of clarity, rationality and balance thanks also to a libretto divided into long scenes animated by loose and lyrical verses in place of the inveterate recitative-aria con da capo combination. Twelve years later, Gluck revised the score and presented a second version of the opera, in French, on the Paris stage: Orphée et Euridice on booklet by Pierre-Louis Moline, which debuted on 2 August 1774 toAcadémie Royale de Musique. Even if in theOrphée in principle, the original layout is maintained, however there are some significant additions and transformations designed to please the French public: from the modification of the vocal role of the protagonist, which in the Viennese version was entrusted to a castrato, while in the Orphée it was transcribed for haute-contre, a tenor voice particularly clear and wide in the high register which boasted a long tradition in France, to the inclusion of danceable pieces, essential in French musical theater.

Points out Daniele Gatti: "The French version of Orphée in Florence has never been performed ... compared to the Italian version (presented in May for the first time in June 1976 directed by Riccardo Muti under the direction of Luca Ronconi, ed) has a text that I think is more intriguing and I would also like to say courtly and for me, more used to a Verdi or Wagner repertoire, it represents a very stimulating challenge to face Gluck. In this edition we will not use original instruments or baroque practices but we will get as close as possible to the spirit of the mid-eighteenth century and above all to the will of Gluck who in his reinterpretation of the work, from the first to this version, enriches it in the instrumentation, aligning it very much with the French taste of the time, modernizing it. "

At the debut both at the Maggio Fiorentino and with the title, the director Pierre Audi commented "Orphée et Euridice by Gluck is one of the great masterpieces of the operatic repertoire, inspired by one of the most mysterious and cruel stories of Greek mythology: it is a much more complex work than you think.

Gluck's work ends with Love freeing Orphée from her torment and bringing Eurydice back to life, suggesting that Love is a forgiving force, despite everything. [..]

In the 21st century it is difficult to accept such a linear and simplistic dramatic reading but, by examining the text and score closely, we can see emerging behind the words and music a much more sophisticated psychological thriller than we think and a much less happy ending than expected. The work focuses on a powerful trio of love: Orphée, Amore and Euridice. Who is Love? In the work she is a seductive free voice - a free spirit - who is clearly an alternative to Eurydice's earthly and possessive personality. […] In my production we went to portray three complex human beings, once chained to each other, on a journey to discover themselves; a journey that will free them from those chains. The outcome of Gluck's work is truly happy because the freedom they eventually find has been won through mutual struggle and acceptance, and not through mutual possession. Myths are important because they help us understand our human condition and our struggle with Fate and the mystery of Death. "


(Anna Prohaska, photo © Harald Hoffmann, Daniele Gatti photo © Anne Dokter)
Orphée et Euridice inaugurates the 84th Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino


Concert master and conductor
Daniele Gatti

Direction Pierre Audi
Scenes and lights Jean Kalman
Costumes Haider Ackermann
Video Gilbert Nouno
Choreography Arno Schuitemaker

Chorus and Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Choir Master Lorenzo Fratini

Arno Schuitemaker Dance Company

Orphée Juan Francisco Gatell /
Michele Angelini (13)
Love Sara Blanch
Eurydice Anna Prohaska

Clotilde Cappelletti, Ilaria Quaglia, Lucrezia Palandri, Paola Drera, Angelo Petracca, Antoine Ferron, Emanuele Rosa, Ivan Ugrin, Mark Christoph Klee, Umberto Gesi


Christoph Willibald Gluck
Orphée et Euridice
Tragédie-opéra (drame héroïque) en trois actes 

Livret de Pierre-Louis Moline d'apres Ranieri de 'Calzabigi</p Version Paris 1774

New layout
First performance in Florence of the French version


April 12 at 8 pm "before"
April 13 at 8 pm
April 19 at 8 pm
April 21 at 8pm
April 23 at 5 pm

Who organizes

Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino FoundationIt is one of the 14 Foundations… more

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Author: Uber Bertiè

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