Production for rent: L'Orfeo

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Composer: Claudio Monteverdi

Libretto: Alessandro Striggio



Category: Favola in music in five acts and one prologue

Language: Italian

Running times: 2h (no interval)

Premiered: 1607, Court of Mantua

New production:  4 June 2021, Opéra-Comique

L'Orfeo © Stefan Brion

Stage director: Pauline Bayle • Set designer : Emmanuel Cloclus • Costume designer : Bernadette Villard • Lighting designer : Pascal Noël

Chrysoline Dupont

Director of Artistic Coordination, Production and Development

In a few words

To find Eurydice, who disappeared on their wedding day, the singer Orpheus sets out to seduce the Underworld with his divine art. It is his complaints that convince Pluto to free Eurydice - with conditions. At the end of the ordeal, the master of harmony turns out to be a fallible, deeply human figure, whom Monteverdi has nurtured with his sensitivity.


“I approach L'Orfeo from a primarily theatrical angle because what I find remarkable is that it expresses an absolute faith in the embodiment of feelings- as in the ancient theatre, which the humanists were rediscovering at the time. The characters are the vectors of this incarnation, and the music is its expression. L'Orfeo is an act of faith in the theatre: in order to reveal the full power of the music, it is no longer enough to sing well, it is now necessary to act what one sings.”

Pauline Bayle, director

Press review

“Pauline Bayle has perfectly understood the essential role of words in Monteverdi's opera. Her very sober staging allows the music, entrusted to Jordi Savall and a high-flying cast, to magnify the text.”

Les Echos, 07 June 2021, Philippe Venturini


“Pauline Bayle does not hide her confidence in Monteverdi's music. Always faithful to the text, it carries the action by itself, and it is not necessary to add a hidden meaning to it to make a successful performance.”

Forumopera, 04 June 2021, Alexandre Jamar


“Pauline Bayle's staging makes skilful use of the choir and the singers to unfold the story. They are also the magical stagehands who, without artifice, create the image of hell.”

Les dits du théâtre, 04 June 2021, Dashiell Donello


Number of Principals : 11
Chorus / parts (S/M-S/CT/T/B) : 11 (2/2/1/3/3) 
Extras : 3 dancers


First violin, second violin, 2 violins, 1 viola da braccio, 2 flautini alla vigesima seconda, 1 clarino, 2 cornetts, 4 trombones, 1 percu, basso continuo (1 double harp, 1 organo di legno, 1 regal and harpsichord, 1 theorbo and guitar, 1 archiluth and chitarrone, 1 lirone and viola de gamba, 1 bass viol, 1 double bass viol)

Volume of the production
Set and props 2 containers

Other info
Last performed : Versailles, 2021
Coproduction : Opéra Royal – Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opéra Grand Avignon
Revivals in 2024 in Versailles


Claudio Monteverdi

June 04 to 10, 2021

In order to find Eurydice, who’s disappeared on their wedding day, the singer Orpheus must charm the netherworld with his divine art. His complaints will eventually prompt Pluton to free Eurydice, under certain conditions… By the end of the ordeal, the master of harmony turns out to be a profoundly human infallible figure, inheriting form Monteverdi’ sensitivity.

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