Orfeo ed Euridice, CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (versió concert)

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PreviousMay 2024

Theatrical action in three acts, premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1762 and based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. When Gluck returned to Orpheus' fable, more than a century and a half after Monteverdi, he somehow undertook to revolutionize the existing conventions of opera. Focusing on the power, cohesion and richness of the plot, he gave birth to an innovative work with an incredible abundance of ballets and choruses that radiate luminous beauty while revising the forms of the past. 

Apart from Gluck's beautiful work, the main attraction lies in the opportunity to listen to René Jacobs' version of it, conducted by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, which has long been installed at the Olympus in the historicist formations. 

Jacobs, who was one of the most important countertenors of all time and set the version of how to sing Orpheus, now tackles the title from the director’s side. His focus will be on emphasizing drama while emphasizing the dynamics and universality of the score. Its direction is the promise of richness in nuance, theatricality and elegance; a retail direction with the desire to offer something new and unique. 

Although the theme is taken from one of the most beautiful myths, the plot focuses heavily on the pair of Orpheus and Euridice, and the series of arias call for a consummate sensitivity and virtuosity. 

Between grace and poetry, Gluck places Orpheus at the crossroads of a decision where he must take risks and jump into the void to embark on an awesome adventure that will take him on a painful descent into hell to regain his beloved. "What will I do without Euridice?" 

Orfeo ed Euridice
Azione teatrale per musica en tres
Llibret de Ranieri de 'Calzabigi
Absolute premiere: 5/10/1762 at the Burgtheater in Vienna
Premiere in Barcelona: 5/12/1889 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Last performance at the Liceu: 29/4 / 2003
Total performances at the Liceu: 70 

Approximate duration2h 15m

Program and cast

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.

Today it is publicly-owned (by the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte) and administered by the Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu which, in addition to the aforementioned bodies, incorporates the Patronage Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu (the old society of owners).

Origins: From 1837 to 1847

The Liceu evolved out of the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados (Society of theatre-lovers) set up in 1837 at the instigation of Manuel Gibert in the former convent of Montsió by members of the National Militia, an organization of armed citizens with liberal leanings.
Barcelona's economy and population were growing fast at the time and the city needed a music conservatory. This led to the conversion of the Sociedad Dramática into the Liceo Filármonico Dramático Barcelonés de S.M. la Reina Isabel II (Barcelona Dramatic and Philharmonic Lyceum of HM Queen Isabel II).  In addition to its theatrical activities, the new organization cultivated Italian-style singing and music.

The building on the Rambla

The original building was solemnly opened on 4 April 1847. The plans had been drawn up by Miquel Garriga i Roca, subsequently assisted by Josep Oriol Mestres. The project was funded by selling shares, which meant that many of the boxes and seats were to be privately owned. The shareholders formed the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu, known as the “Societat de Propietaris” (Society of Owners),  which was in sole charge of running the Gran Teatre del Liceu from 1855 onwards, after it was legally separated from the Conservatori del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The theatre was operated by impresarios who were given a concession to stage a specific number of productions in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of tickets not reserved for the Societat itself. This system was to endure until 1980.

The creation of the Consortium

By the last quarter of the 20th century this management system was no longer viable. In 1980, to avert the danger of the disappearance of an institution of such worldwide cultural renown, the Generalitat  Catalonia's first government in modern times – set up a consortium, the Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu, which also incorporated Barcelona City Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Barcelona Provincial Council joined the Consortium in 1985, followed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1986. From then on the Consortium took over operation of the theatre.

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