The actual Paris Orphée

Gluck’s Orfeo/Orphée is one of those works where things get a bit complicated because an Italian and a French version wre produced and then all kinds of mash ups of the two versions.  It’s a bit like Don Carlo/Don Carlos or Guglielmo Tell/Guillaume Tell.  The original Orfeo ed Euridice, which premiered in Vienna is quite short and has Orfeo written for a castrato.  The Paris version spreads the piece out over three acts, adds both new vocal music and lots more dance music and has Orphée written for haut-contre.  Today, when people do the French version they usually cut some of the new music and us the higher Orphée music; casting either a mezzo or a counter-tenor.  This is true of both recordings  (Paris 2000 and Munich 2003) which have come my way in the past.

1.opening

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