Orfeo ed Euridice, and Dido and Aeneas, Grange Festival, June 2023

Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas are in a sense mirror images of one another. The Gluck starts with a tragic death and ends happily, the Purcell is the reverse. Gluck’s opera, first performed in Vienna in 1762, had a great effect on what came later in Germany and was particularly influential on Wagner. It eschewed the earlier style of vocal embellishment and virtuosity, and took from French opera the use of accompanied recitative. See my review in The Article.

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