- Stefano Landi
La Morte d’Orfeo
A pastoral tragi-comedy in five acts
Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo was created between the first Orfeos that were set to music by Peri and Monteverdi, and the spectacular Roman style creation by Luigi Rossi.
La Morte d’Orfeo is an early work. We do not know under what circumstances this work, dedicated to Alessandro Mattei, a friend of Pope Paul V (Borghese), was performed. The author of the libretto also remains unknown, although it could have been Landi himself. We must however note the major innovations he introduced, which had been ignored by his predecessors. In his opera, Landi introduces comic elements as well as important choral scenes that contribute greatly to the architecture of the work. This in no way detracts from the tragic scenes that are all the more dramatic and intense. Recitative and melodic stanzas alternate, and all these elements come together in an opera that seems to be true forerunner of Baroque opera.