Orfeo, Opera de Lille

By Francis Carlin [Financial Times, 8 November 2005]
“Abandon all hope, you who enter” is the warning at the entrance to Plutone’s kingdom, but it could equally apply to the testing title role of Monteverdi’s first opera. Its tessitura lies awkwardly between tenor and baritone registers, too low for the former, especially at baroque pitch, and high for baritones who don’t shine at the top.