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Opera: Orpheet Eurydice

A simply glorious gripping drama

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With the Royal Opera House currently on tour in Japan, Sir John Eliot Gardiner's English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir take over from the home team for this new production of one of the greatest of all operas - Gluck's Orphee et Eurydice.

And they alone would make this a performance not to be missed. Peerless in this repertoire, Gardiner gives the music ebb, flow and gripping drama, and the rasping brass give Gluck's magical score real bite.

Juan Diego Florez is simply glorious as Orphee. What pure pleasure to hear him in a role originally written for a castrato.

The production is co-directed by the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter. With much of this ''Paris version'' of the opera given over to ballet music, the dancing is integral. Which is a shame, since the choreography struck me as little more than a pastiche of Mark Morris.

But overall this is a performance not to be missed.

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