Probably the most unique production of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo that I've seen
L'Orfeo is my personal favourite of Monteverdi's operas, a very beautiful and moving work indeed. Let me start by saying that anybody who prefers a more traditional and more Renaissance approach would probably want to look elsewhere like the Ponnelle-directed production. Anyone who does like great choreography and singing and a unique approach to the staging will love it. I admit that I am more a traditionalist myself, but I highly enjoyed this production. The costumes and sets are very imaginative visually and utilised likewise, the idea of Apollo being strapped to a vertically revolving sun was a touch that I've not seen much before if ever and one I did enjoy seeing. The choreography and movements was mostly very beautiful, there are a few occasions where it does come across as rather mannered but mostly it was fine. The orchestral playing gives the music its poignancy and intimacy and the conducting from Rene Jacobs is likewise musical and authoritative. Simon Keenlyside is outstanding in the title role, graceful and athletic in dancing, commanding and moving in acting and flexible and sonorous in singing. The rest of the singing are equally impressive, with Euridice and Charron standing out. All in all, a great, unique production though may be an acquired taste depending on whether you are a traditionalist or not. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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