A book about Bob Wilson's recent production of Monteverdi's opera "Orpheus", the publication comes with a dvd and 2 cds containing a complete recording of the production.
Between 1590 and 1592 Monteverdi worked at the court of the Duke of Mantua. In 1601 he was appointed ‘master of music’ by Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. His duties included teaching, conducting a women’s choir and composing works for the theater. During the carnival of 1607, Orpheus, based on a libretto by Alessandro Striglio, premièred in Mantua at the Accademia degli Invaghiti and was performed a few days later at court. The opera was a resounding success and staged again soon afterwards in Milan and Cremona, and probably in Turin and Florence. Claudio Monteverdi’s compositions mark the transition from the Renaissance style of music to the Baroque. Orpheus was one of the first works to be staged in a theater with a dramatic plot and, for this reason, is regarded as the first true masterpiece of melodrama. The libretto is based on a text by Poliziano with a few variations, the most important of which is the happy ending, with Orpheus ascending into heaven accompanied by Apollo. In the book, an impressive list of actors – including Maurizio Bettini, Bruno Adorni and Philip Gossett – talk about the time in which Monteverdi lived, about life at the illuminated and illustrious Gonzaga court and about the myth of Orpheus itself, which has inspired artists of all kinds through the ages.