|John Mark Ainsley at Orfeo at the Barbican Centre|
With a composer whose music has been around for 400 years most of us are familiar something of his output and with Monteverdi there is a wide range. It was this familiarity that this performance was building on. The cast were in costume, dressed as contemporary wedding guests. Although in the discussion afterwards Orpha suggested that they had provided their own clothes they must have had some guidance or they had all been at the same wedding as they were quite co-ordinated. It helped to create the feeling that you vaguely knew them or people similar. We know the type of wedding depicted and that in turn leads us to the emotions of the piece. This is L'Orfeo and the opera concentrates on him and his emotions. Uncertainty, loss and then grief. Things we can all relate to in 2013 or 1613 it doesn't matter and that shows the continued relevance of Monteverdi's music.