Favola in musica

Composer Claudio Monteverdi · Alessandro Striggio
In Italian with German surtitles

Munich Opera Festival
Thursday, 23. July 2015
07:00 pm – 08:50 pm

Duration est. 1 hours 50 minutes

Introductory Event: 06:00 PM

Prices PA

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Musikalische Leitung
Christopher Moulds
David Bösch
Patrick Bannwart
Kostüme und Video
Falko Herold
Michael Bauer
Rainer Karlitschek, Daniel Menne
Tim Brown

Christian Gerhaher
Elsa Benoit
Anna Bonitatibus
Anna Bonitatibus
Tareq Nazmi
Anna Stéphany
La Musica
Anna Stéphany
Goran Jurić
Dean Power
Pastore I
Mathias Vidal
Pastore II
Jeroen de Vaal
Spirito I
Mathias Vidal
Spirito III
Jeroen de Vaal
Jeroen de Vaal
Pastore III
James Hall
Pastore IV
Simon Robinson
Spirito II
Simon Robinson
Lucy Knight
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Learn more

Despite some precursors, the first performance of Monteverdi's L’Orfeo in Mantua in 1607 marked the start of the success story of opera. And – the history of opera starts with the rebellion of an artist who cannot accept the death of his wife. The singer Orfeo attempts and achieves the impossible: the gods allow him to take his wife Euridice back to the land of the living, thanks to his beguiling song, which appeals to every sense. Yet he fails, he fails as a human being. But the possibility and the hope remain that the singer can break down every boundary with his art, time and again – and today?


Music has come from the sources of the Permessos into a region bearing the mark of destruction in order to tell the story of the famous singer Orfeo, a story intended to bring courage and hope to wounded souls.

To this end the place is transformed into an arcadia of flowers in which shepherds and nymphs plan to celebrate the wedding of Orfeo and Euridice now that the latter has finally yielded and agreed to marry Orfeo.

However a messenger interrupts the happy singing with a dreadful piece of news: Euridice has been bitten by a snake and died. At the sight of  Euridice’s corpse Orfeo decides that he will not allow his beloved simply to descend into the underworld. He intends to follow her there. He is accompanied by music, who personifies hope for Orfeo.

But Caronte refuses to allow him to enter the kingdom of the dead so Orfeo, buoyed by hope, tells of his misfortune and begs the gods of the underworld to return Euridice to him. It is, however, only after Caronte has fallen asleep that Orfeo succeeds in entering Hades. A chorus of spirits rejoices.

Proserpina and Plutone  argue. Moved by Orfeo’s singing, Proserpina  persuades her husband to grant Orfeo’s request. Plutone, however, only agrees on one condition: on the way back to the world of the living Orfeo must not turn around to look at Euridice. But Orfeo fails to comply. When he hears a tremendous noise, Orfeo turns to look at his wife, who must now stay in the underworld forever.

Orfeo’s sorrow is boundless, not even the memories of his wedding celebration provide consolation. Even Apollo’s suggestion that he should accompany him to Heaven seems to Orfeo to offer no prospects. He dies, marked by his suffering.

Music is left alone with her memories of Orfeo and Euridice.

Premiere of Claudio Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo" on July 20, 2014 in the Prinzregententheater

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Christopher Moulds stammt aus Halifax/USA und studierte Klavier und Dirigieren u. a. an der Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London und am Londoner Royal College of Music. Er gastierte u. a. am Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, am Bolschoi-Theater in Moskau, an der Opéra National de Lyon, am Teatro Real Madrid, an der Semperoper Dresden, am Opernhaus Zürich, am Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, am Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, an der Berliner Staatsoper, am Theater an der Wien und an der Komischen Oper Berlin sowie bei den Festspielen in Salzburg, Bregenz und Glyndebourne. Er dirigiert Werke von Monteverdi, Händel und Mozart bis Brittens The Turn of the Screw. Zudem widmete er sich zeitgenössischen Opern wie Birtwistles Punch and Judy. Dirigat an der Bayerischen Staatsoper 2017/18: La Calisto. (Stand: 2017)

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