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Mark Mandel
Opera News, February 2013

GLUCK, C.W.: Orfeo ed Euridice (Castell de Peralada Festival, 2011) (NTSC) 710308
GLUCK, C.W.: Orfeo ed Euridice (Castell de Peralada Festival, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) 710404

The “beautiful simplicity” that Gluck sought in his reform operas becomes beautiful complexity in this production by the Barcelona theater troupe La Fura dels Baus at the 2011 Festival Castell de Paralada in Catalonia. Stage director Carlus Padrissa and his fellow “Furistas” present the original 1762 Orfeo with…spectacular visual language …video, interactive graphics, acrobatics, singers and supers who are harnessed and elevated.

More remarkable is the conductor-less Orquesta bandArt, led by concertmaster Gordan Nikolic.

Anita Rachvelishvili…ravishes the ear with her dark, voluptuous mezzo, rich throughout its range. She doesn’t sound at all stretched in singing Orfeo’s Act III lament…Maite Alberola’s Euridice is expressive, edgy and urgent in a fuller lyric soprano than we often hear in the role. Soprano Auxiliadora Toledano pipes purely and sweetly and delightful ornaments Amore’s aria. The Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Musica Catalana sounds strong whether groveling on the stage, singing through head-sized apertures or with faces morphing out of projections.

There’s not a dull moment, and this video is first choice for the 1762 Vienna version… © 2013 Opera News

David Patrick Stearns
Gramophone, November 2012

Composed in broad strokes and paced with contemplative majesty, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is an obvious choice for the strong-minded La Fura dels Baus theatre group, which never fails to deliver visually arresting stage images…

…Rachvelishvili is a vocally robust, poetically alert Orpheus, though Auxiliadora Toledano steals the vocal honours in her wonderful portrayal of Amore…the playing is generally good… © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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