30 Oct 2016

Gluck and friends: a happy meeting

From The Sunday Feature, 2:00 pm on 30 October 2016
Christoph Willibald Gluck

Christoph Willibald Gluck Photo: Belliard, Public Domain

The appearance on the Viennese operatic scene in 1762 of Gluck’s first new-style opera, Orfeo ed Euridice, was the happy result of exactly the right people being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. It could easily not have happened at all, for if any one of the five collaborators had been absent, the enterprise might well never have come to fruition.

This is the story of a fortunate gathering, the chance coming together of an opera house director, a composer, a choreographer, a librettist, and a singer. They all needed each other to make the project happen, and if they hadn’t found each other, then the history of opera could well have taken a very different course.