Is it possible to perform Monteverdi’s La Favola di Orfeo in modern times and produce the same stunning effect that was experienced by the audience attending its first performance 410 years ago?
In his seek for a purest form of communication, composer Massimilano Toni dared to go further, led by a “desperate desire” to fully value the touching beauty of music and to get straight to the public in the most powerful way possible.
After a 10-year-process, the project “ORFEO 2.0 – a baRock opera” was finally conceived.
Why Orfeo 2.0?
A man who has the courage to scout unexplored ground and to surpass his limits, a man that chasing true love jeopardizes his own life: this is not merely a myth. It is the archetype of contemporary men and women, prone to head towards new frontiers and to surf virtual and unexpected realities, finding themselves nevertheless forced to deal with the fragility of human relationships.This is Orfeo’s saga in a nutshell, put in music for the first time by Monteverdi, a composer born in Cremona 450 years ago. Massimiliano Toni’s arrangement, or better “update”, written for baroque orchestra, rock band and seven singers, is violent, new and trasncendent.
What is Orfeo 2.0?
Within the music-ecosystem Orfeo 2.0, many different genres can coexist. Various contaminations make themselves audible beneath Monteverdi’s original melodies, which resonate still uncorrupted,: Rock, Blues, Funky, Caribbean rhythms, progressive rock and sometimes even experimental musical caos
During the whole performance a sound engineer is in control of the balance: the intention is not to throw a massive amount of decibel to the audience but rather to ensure the counterpoint of very different instruments as well as to present a transparent and intelligible ensemble.
A modular show
The staging of Orfeo 2.0 aims to functionality, therefore the show is realistically suitable for almost any theater or performing venue. Thanks to the light design by Jean-Paul Carradori, the space becomes part of the narration and can be shaped into all desired settings.
This produces an extremely charming show, on the edge of the surreal. It turns continuously from real staging into a rock concert and vice versa; this way the spectator is free to mentally enter or leave the drama of Orfeo at any moment.
Orfeo 2.0 – a baRock opera, besides being an artistic product, is meant to be a technological event on both musical and visual side..
Patronages and sponsors
Orfeo 2.0 – a baRock opera has been rewarded with the patronage of Milan’s Town Culture Department, kindly accorded by the alderman and composer Filippo del Corno.
It has already been granted all necessary funds for a “German premiere” in the month of Semptember 2017, thanks to the contribution of Bayer Kultur and Kunststiftung Nordrhein Westfalen Foundation.
Seven singers with renown careers in baroque music, give life to all characters on stage: Orfeo is sung by tenor Krystan Adam who has recently performed the role at the Royal Opera House in London as well as at the Metropolitan Opera House of New York. In the pit, the prestigious baroque ensemble L’Arte del Mondo, founded by Werner Ehrhard, mixes with the rock band PIGRECO with the special participation of two international stars as Rino De Patre and Andreas Prittwitz.
Krystian Adam (tenor) Orfeo
Natalia Rubiś (soprano) Euridice/La Musica/Ninfa
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (mezzosoprano) La Messaggera/Proserpina
Federico Sacchi (bass) Caronte/Plutone/Pastore/Spirito
Jorge Juan Morata(tenor) Pastore/Spirito/Apollo
Patrick Lehmann (countertenor) Pastore/Spirito/Cori
Emanuel Vogt (Baritenor) Pastore/Spirito/Cori
Werner Ehrhard baroque violin and musical direction
Andrea Keller baroque violin
Antje Sabinski baroque viola
Rosa Rosa Cañellas baroque bass viola e lirone
Linda Mantcheva baroque cello
Jörg Lühring baroque contrabass
Juan Josè Francione archilute, baroque guitar
Rock Band PIGRECO
Tommaso Caccia electric and acoustic guitar
Andrea Caggiari 4, 6 e 8 strings eletric bass
Alex Canella drums and percussion
Edoardo Maggioni keyboards and special effects
Andreas Prittwitz saxophones, flutes, clarinett
Sound and Visual
Jean-Paul Carradori light & set designer
Oscar Mapelli sound engineer
Massimiliano Toni concept, arrangement, harpsicord, keyboards and musical direction