Monday, May 26, 2014

Sebastian Geyer in rare version of Orpheus myth

Sebastian Geyer in The Elixir of Love
German barihunk Sebastian Geyer, who we first introduced to readers back in 2010, is starring in Telemann’s rarely performed opera "Orpheus oder Die Wunderbare Bestängigkeit Der Liebe" (Orpheus or The Wonderful Constancy of Love). The production opened last night at the Oper Frankfurt and runs through June 8th. Tickets and additional information are available online

The opera tells of the destructive power of love from Eurydice's point of view. The myth of Orpheus is one of the best loved stories in literary and operatic history, at its center the power of music and love between Orpheus and Eurydice. In Telemann's version,  Orasia the Queen of Trace, who is in love with Orpheus plays a larger role than in versions by other composers. There also is no happy ending, as the composer/librettist ban all three main characters to the underworld.

Telemann’s Orpheus has often been dismissed as a pastiche because it included some well known passages from Handel and Lully operas. But the opera was a brave experiment that broke musical and dramaturgical boundaries. Telemann combined his own, strongly protestant, cantata forms with the sensuality of Italian opera and the courtly glamor of France. 

Sebastian Geyer in Orpheus at the Frankfurt Oper
Sebastian Geyer has become a leading baritone at the Oper Frankfurt, where he has sung Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Conte Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Dr. Falke in Strauß' Die Fledermaus and the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare. He also has appeared on the company's recording of Richard Wagner's Die Feen.

On September 5th, he'll switch to Puccini as he sings Schaunard with the company in La bohème. He then travels to Wuppertal to sing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni in a cast that includes fellow barihunk Damien Pass as Masetto. 

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