Four Trips to Hell and Back at the Opera

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times, 7 August 2007]
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., Aug. 5 ó Orpheus, the awesomely gifted musician and poet of ancient myth, whose lyrics and songs could entrance wild animals and alter the course of churning rivers, is the hero of countless operas, including Monteverdiís landmark ìOrfeoî of 1607. With this historic work Monteverdi set the parameters and pointed the way for what was to come in the genre.