On May 26th and 27th in the MacMillan Theatre there’s a chance to see Haydn’s rarely performed Orfeo: L’anima del filosofo. It was composed for London in 1791 but was shut down during rehearsals because the Lord Chamberlain’s office thought it subversively supportive of enlightenment values at a time when Pitt’s government was cracking down brutally on pro French Revolutionary sentiment in the UK.
It finally made it to the stage in 1951 in Florence with Maria Callas as Euridice. It’s had a few runs in Europe since, including Cecilia Bartoli’s Covent Garden debut, but can scarcely be called a “staple of the repertoire”. Now it’s being given its North American premiere by a collaboration between the music schools at University of Toronto and McGill University led by Dr. Caryl Clarke. Continue reading