Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Barihunk duo in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo

Damien Pass and Alex Rosen
OPERA2DAY is teaming up with the Nederlandse Reisopera and Studio Drift to produce Claudio Monteverdi's L’Orfeo, often considered to be the first successful opera. Monteverdi referred to the piece as a "favola in musica," in which “all the actors are to sing their parts.”

Barihunks Damien Pass will sing Spirito and Alex Rosen will take on Caronte in a cast that also includes Samuel Boden as Orfeo, Kristen Witmer as Eurydice, Yannis François as Plutone and Laurence Kilsby as Apollo.

Hernán Schvartzman will conduct the orchestra of La Sfera Armoniosa on period instruments.  There will be ten performance  production can be viewed 10 times in January and February in theatres throughout the Netherlands starting in Enschede on January 25, then traveling to Leeuwarden, Maastricht, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zwolle, Arnheim and ending in Den Haat on February 22.

OPERA2DAY in Den Haag is a company founded to bring opera to new audiences by presenting old standards in contemporary settings. They often condense the opera to shorter running times.

Damien Pass' legendary strip tease in Agrippina

At the time when Monteverdi was composing L’Orfeo,  he was dealing with the recent death of his first wife Claudia and 18-year-old star soprano Caterina Martinelli. These events inspired him to compose some of the most beautiful music of love and mournful tunes ever written in opera.

Australian baritone Damien Pass has performed many baroque roles including Handel's Lucifero (La resurrezione), Zoroastro (Orlando) and Pallante (Agrippina), as well as Rameau's Borée (Les Boréades). After L'Orfeo, he head to Opéra de Lille to sing Pistola in Verdi's Falstaff.

American bass Alex Rosen is also not stranger to early music, having performed Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Cincinnati Opera, Haydn’s Creation and Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Les Arts Florissants and Somnus and Cadmus in Handel’s Semele with Opera Philadelphia.

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