|Gianluca Margheri as the High Priest of Apollo|
Christoph Willibald Gluck, who was largely self-taught as a composer, became known as one of opera's most historically signifigant reformers. His three "reform operas" were Orfeo ed Euridice, Alceste and Paride ed Elena, which eliminated many of the standard practices of the day, which Gluck felt impeded the drama.
''When I undertook to write the music for Alceste,'' Gluck wrote, ''I resolved to divest it entirely of all those abuses, introduced into it either by the mistaken vanity of singers or by the too great complaisance of composers, which have so long disfigured Italian opera and made of the most splendid and most beautiful of spectacles the most ridiculous and wearisome. I have striven to restrict music to its true office of serving poetry by means of expression and by following the situations of the story, without interrupting the action or stifling it with useless superfluity of ornaments ...Simplicity, truth and naturalness are the great principles of beauty in all artistic manifestations.''
|Gianluca Margheri as Apollo|
In Greek legend Alcestis, daughter of Pelias, was the wife of Athnetus, King of Pherae in Thessaly. She was the only person willing to die in place of her husband, but was brought back from the Underworld by Hercules. Gluck's opera is based on the play by Euripides, with Alcestis saved by the god Apollo.
|Gianluca Margheri backstage as Apollo|
Margheri can next be heard as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari in June and July.