Orfeo from Nico Muhly

Orfeo from Nico Muhly
Lauren Snouffer (La MusicaSperanza), Rolando Villazón (Orfeo)
© photo by Curtis Brown for the Santa Fe Opera

It is a fact that Monteverdi’s Orfeo does not have a standard orchestration by Monteverdi himself and many have realised their own. The Santa Fe Opera has commissioned a new orchestration by composer Nico Muhly which will receive its premiere on July 29, 2023. This will also be the first time that the opera has been performed by The Santa Fe Opera.

Muhly’s version of Orfeo is sure to feature the colourful instrumental writing of both his operatic and orchestral catalogues and will be directed by Yuval Sharon with tenor Rolando Villazón in the title role, conducted by Harry Bicket.

“There are so many moments of slyness, where what you’re getting in terms of plot and what you’re getting in terms of emotional content is coming from literally one tiny little harmonic move, like one strange flat,” says Nico Muhly. “Also, there’s very traditional word painting. You go up to heaven, and he goes up the scale. It’s this wonderful combination of trickery and things that are quite obvious and theatrical.”

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