The Soul of the Philosopher (L’anima del filosofo) is Joseph Haydn’s lost Orfeo, declared contraband and shut down before its premiere in 1791.
The opera lay dormant in dusty Eastern European archives until the Cold War — now, Haydn’s ambitious political setting of the Orpheus myth will be staged in North America for the first time.
Now, an innovative collaboration between the University of Toronto and McGill University assembles artists and students from across Canada and the US to animate this ancient tale of greed, passion, and self-control: tenor Asitha Tennekoon (Dora Award winner, “a tour-de-force”) leads as the impassioned Orfeo, alongside soprano Lindsay McIntyre (“a standout”) as the princess Euridice. Parker Clements (“a gifted operatic baritone”) plays Creonte, Euridice’s Father, and soprano Maeve Palmer (Dora Award winner, “a triple-threat,” “talented coloratura”) joins as Genio, Orfeo’s guide to the Underworld. Scholar-practitioner Dorian Bandy, praised for the vitality, drama, and warmth of his performances, conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra, and Ivars Taurins (Tafelmusik Chamber Choir) serves as Chorus Master. Scenic, costume, and props design by Astrid Janson (Dora Award winner for “striking, innovative work”) and Abby Esteireiro (UofT Drama Coalition Award winner). Nico Krell (“inspired,” “always fascinating”) directs.
Witness the majesty of the human voice. See the world bend to its will, as Euridice flees the fangs of entitled men, and Orfeo, her true love, descends into darkness to confront Death itself.
Asitha Tennekoon, Orfeo
Lindsay McIntyre, Euridice
Parker Clemens, Creonte
Maeve Palmer, Genio
with vocalists from the University of Toronto
and the McGill Baroque Orchestra
Directed by Nico Krell
Conducted by Dorian Bandy
Orfeo is being created as an "indie" project, funded entirely from the generosity of supporters who believe in the human need to make music. We are proud to offer free tickets to new audiences and experienced opera-goers alike, thanks to donations from individuals like you. To support our artists, make a tax-deductible contribution at uoft.me/Orfeo