Gluck: Bauci e Filemone / Orfeo

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We return to Southbank Centre for an enchanting pair of Gluck operas based on stories recounted by Ovid in his famous Metamorphoses. Both originally formed part of Le feste d’Apollo, a triple-bill composed 250 years ago to celebrate the wedding in Parma of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma and grandson of Louis XV, to Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria and daughter of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresia.

 

The first of these one-act operas, Bauci e Filemone, portrays the god Jupiter rewarding a young Phrygian couple for an outstanding act of kindness, while the second is a reworking of Gluck’s celebrated Orfeo ed Euridice, considered by many to represent ‘the birth of modern opera’ and premièred in Vienna on the night before the six-year-old Mozart first came to the city in 1762. This intriguing 1769 revision adapted the role of Orfeo for a soprano, and is here receiving its UK première.

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