|Another pose from the same sitting, showing Pauline Viardot-Garcia dressed as the eponymous hero of Gluck’s Orphée, in a costume designed by Delacroix.
Based on the myth of Orpheus, the opera in its original version was titled Orfeo ed Euridice [French version: Orfée et Eurydice] and the role of Orpheus was sung by a castrato. It was first performed in Vienna in 1762.
In 1859, Hector Berlioz adapted a version of the opera – in four acts – especially with Pauline Viardot in mind, adapting the score for a female contralto. A daring concept which proved to be an enormous success, the production ran to 124 performances in two seasons.
The role of Eurydice was sung by the Belgian soprano Marie Saxe. Berlioz thought her ‘as ignorant as a carp of everything to do with Art.’ At one point during rehearsals, when Berlioz kept stopping the orchestra to give instructions to the chorus, Saxe turned to Viardot and disapprovingly asked ‘That’s Monsieur Gluck, isn’t it?’ ‘No, it’s one of his friends,’ came the response. ‘Well, he’s got a nerve – in his absence.’
condition: The print shows some fine spotting in the area of the background.
price: not for sale
|Back to list...