Thanks to Operabase‘s nifty anniversary tracker for alerting me to the fact that today is the 225th anniversary of Christoph Willibald Gluck‘s death! Gluck is hugely important for his operatic reforms, doing away with the formulas and excesses of Baroque opera, and returning to a clearer focus on the human drama. His first reform opera, Orfeo ed Euridice actually had its own important anniversary this year; 250 years since its premiere!
Image by Frederic Leighton
I’m disappointed that this wasn’t a bigger deal… O&E was followed by two more reform operas, also created with partner-in-crime librettist Calzabigi, who wrote a manifesto of their reform ideas. These two next operas aren’t as popular as the first, but lucky for us, Opera Today has streaming performances of all three, so let’s all enjoy the complete trifecta in Gluck’s honor!