Fakta Late sixteenth-century Florence was a theatre: first and foremost a political one, in the eyes of the dynasties that wished to use the arts to display their power. A humanist one too, as is shown by these intermedi (interludes) that sought to achieve the perfect blend between music and poetry, the ideal of a certain Renaissance. Inserted into plays imitating the ancient writers, these entertainments were presented with lavish visual and musical resources. After reaching an initial peak in 1589 with the intermedi composed for Bargagli's La pellegrina, this tradition was prolonged in the burgeoning genre of opera by such composers as Peri, Caccini (Euridice, 1600) and, very soon, Monteverdi (L'Orfeo) and Gagliano (Dafne). Rather than aiming for the impossible ideal of a reconstruction, Raphaël Pichon has devised a sort of imaginary intermedio by selecting the finest gems from this repertory, featuring the figures of Apollo, Orpheus and Eurydice, and above all Cupid: Love, Love, Love!
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