Orfeo at BLEMF

The centerpiece of the year’s Bloomington Early Music Festival is what’s justifiably called the "first great opera," Monteverdi’s "Orfeo." The opera tells the tale of the god-like musician Orpheo’s joyous love for Euridice and his sadness at her cruel death. Then, there’s his courageous journey to Hades with the music that charms the gruff boatman Caronte and even Pluto and Proserpina to retrieve her. Finally, there’s the all too human moment of weakness as Orpheo looks behind to be sure that Euridice is indeed following and in that moment he loses her.

In order to bring you this preview, I went to the final dress rehearsal of the BLEMF production.

Corey Jameson conducts the twenty-five piece orchestra and the dozen singer actors from the keyboard. Jonathan Michaelsen, Chair and Producer of IU’s Department of Theatre and Drama is the stage director and leads the production team with scenic design by Fred Duer, lighting by Rob Shakespeare, choreography by Mathew Buffalo and costumes by Katherine Garlick.

The BLEMF production of "Orfeo" is fully respectful both musically and dramatically of traditional style and yet makes creative use of the advanced resources and space of the Wells-Metz Theatre. This was the first time that I’d heard acoustic music of this complexity in the Well-Metz and happily, both the singers and the nicely balanced orchestra sounded remarkably crisp and full.

The BLEMF production of "Orfeo" brings together the resources of the IU Department of Theatre and Drama, the Jacobs School of Music and the arts community for a unique fusion of the arts served by a generosity of spirit

It’s a lively creative production that’s both musically and dramatically involving and satisfying

For Friday 5/18

Monteverdi’s "Orfeo" opens the Bloomington Early Music Festival with a performance this evening at eight in the Wells-Metz Theatre. There are additional performances in the evening on Friday the 25th and in the afternoon on Saturday the 26th.

For Tuesday 5/22

Monteverdi’s "Orfeo" plays this Friday at eight and Saturday at two. This evening’s Arts Works program on WFIU at seven-ten will focus on BLEMF with music from the ensembles and interviews with the guests.)

Tuesday the 22nd ‘s Arts Works program on WFIU at seven-ten will focus on BLEMF with music from the ensembles and interviews with the guests.

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

Ring Around The Rosie

plague victims

We’re exploring the Black Death and its influence in the lives of composers from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and beyond.

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »