by Daniel Hathaway
Admirers of Thomas Forrest Kelly’s 2000 book First Nights: Five Musical Premieres probably wish they could have been physically present to witness the very first performances of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps.
Me? I wish I had been able to attend the rehearsals — which often prove as interesting as the performances themselves. Rehearsals are where artistic philosophies get established, deals are made between directors and performers, and kinks get worked out. When the piece in question is a staged work, the rehearsal process becomes more complex: the ideas (and egos) of more than one director need to be melded into a single product, and there’s much more that can go awry.
Apollo’s Fire will produce three semi-staged performances of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in the next week: two in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm, and one at St. Raphael Church in Bay Village on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 pm. [Read more…]