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FULL L’ORFEO Rochester NY 2022 Colin Balzer, Laura Heimes, Angela Young Smucker, Madeline Apple Healey

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: PegasusEarlyMusic  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO

When Pegasus decided to produce another early opera production after the successes of Dido &
Aeneas in 2017 and Acis & Galatea in 2019, there was only one choice in my mind: Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.
Akin to the Vespers of Monteverdi in complexity, beauty, and innovation, L’Orfeo has always seemed to me
a completely intact work, not one note extra, not one note left out. The colors in the orchestra always draw
me in, the way the instruments are featured in much the same way that different singers or roles are
featured. Monteverdi’s harmonic language seems deceptively simple, but the melodies are not, and the
unexpected shifts are calculated to produce heart-rending emotional resonance, the point where music
and drama meet.
And the story that Monteverdi and his librettist, Alessandro Striggio, tell, of Orpheus, holds deep
meaning for us even 400 years later. As we had to postpone our production from 2020 to 2021, and finally
to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic and all its horrific repercussions, the meaning of love and
loss and grief, and being separated from our loved ones, became all too relevant.
I am so proud of this incredible cast, creative team, and crew we have assembled. Most of them
had signed on for the 2020 production and kept holding dates for us for the next two years. I am deeply
gratified that they wanted to be a part of this much-longer-than-expected journey!
I am extremely grateful to our Rochester community for your support for Pegasus through the
pandemic, and for the opera. Every donation, large or small, every offer of help, every encouraging
comment, helped Pegasus to get through the times of uncertainty, and to keep the music coming.
I invite you to remember that when Monteverdi created this piece of music in 1607, there was no
such thing as “opera”; indeed, he called this work un favola in musica, a tale in music. There was great
excitement surrounding the first performance at the ducal palace in Mantua—actors were going to be
singing their parts, there was going to be music to tell the tale! This was something innovative, and
Monteverdi was one of several composers (arguably the best) experimenting with this new idea. Our
production brings in both historically informed perspectives as well as contemporary styles, truly a
production for our times.
When we start a new production, there is a profound excitement as we search, as a team, for how
to tell the story in music. Therefore, instead of the usual history-based program notes, I have asked
members of our creative team to write something that reflects their own take on this amazing score and
story, and on the collaboration we have undertaken together.
—Deborah Fox, Artistic Director

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