by Paula Citron
Glimmerglass Opera this year is presenting five works inspired by the Myth of Orpheus.
Director Lillian Groag’s economical and beautifully rendered vision for Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice is suitably set in the Age of Enlightenment of the composer’s own time. Orfée, performed by male soprano Michael Maniaci, is a gentleman in a frock coat and nothing dispels the grace that surrounds him.
This production uses the 1859 Berlioz adaptation which recreates Gluck’s original version on modern instruments. The orchestra under talented Montreal-based conductor Julian Wachner is charged with drama. One is swept up in the grandeur of the music that so magnificently depicts place and character.
Maniaci’s unbelievably high and sweet ethereal voice makes him one of the greatest singers of his generation. The impressive soprano Amanda Pabyan as Eurydice has bite which gives colour and nuance to her sound. Sopranos Brenda Rae and Caitlin Lynch sing prettily in secondary roles.
Glimmerglass Opera continues until Aug. 28.
From Cooperstown, New York, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.