A 17th century Arcadian paradise is the setting for Monteverdi’s lush opera
This article is from 2007.
‘Festivals are a sort of personal odyssey,’ says EIF director Jonathan Mills, ‘like a pilgrimage or rite of passage, where you can learn about yourself.’ In programming his first Festival, Mills also threw down a personal gauntlet, meeting the challenge of creating an opportunity ‘for pause, reflection and an all absorbing time when audiences can go the whole journey or dip their toe in the water.’
Set against such thinking, it’s no wonder that Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo finds itself in pride of place in Mills’ music programme. As part of a journey, Monteverdi’s opera is at the beginning. It is the opera that is generally regarded as the first ‘proper’ opera, where the synthesis of music and drama takes on a power hitherto unexplored. Celebrating the 400th anniversary of its composition, the EIF production promises to be truly spectacular.
Festival Theatre, 473 2000, 11, 13 & 14 Aug, 7.15pm, £10–60.