Monteverdi's 'Tu se morta ...'

From 'Orfeo'

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Orfeo learns of Euridice's death

Orfeo (Jeremy Ovenden) gets the news of Euridice's death from the messenger Sylvia (Tania Kross). Ruth Walz and Hans Hijmering hide caption

toggle caption Ruth Walz and Hans Hijmering

The first act of Monteverdi's Orfeo, is dedicated to a raucous wedding celebration, after the marriage of Orfeo and Euridice. But by the second act, things go dark. While Orfeo is alone in the forest, wondering at his newfound joy, he learns that Euridice has died from a poisonous snakebite. He reacts with the emotional aria "Tu se' morta, mia vita, ed io respiro?" — "You are dead, my life, yet I still live?" — before deciding to brave the underworld himself, in a desperate attempt to bring Euridice back to life.



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