Orfeo (2016)

Orfeo Favola in musica (musical fable) in a prologue and five acts (1607)

Music Claudio Monteverdi

Libretto Alessandro Striggio

Musical direction Geoffroy Jourdain

Direction  Julie Berès

Assistant to the director Mirabelle Ordinaire

Artistic collaboration Karim Bel Kacem, Ariana Vafadari


La Musica Pauline Texier

Orfeo Tomasz Kumiega

Euridice, Speranza Laure Poissonnier

Messaggiera Emanuela Pascu

Proserpina Gemma Ní Bhriain

Caronte Andriy Gnatiuk

Plutone Mikhail Timoshenko

Apollo Damien Pass

Pastore I Yu Shao

Pastore II Alban Dufourt

Ninfa Adèle Carlier

Pastori Anne-Lou Bissières, William Shelton, Guillaume Figiel Delpech, Sorin Dumitrascu, Alvaro Valles

Spiriti infernali Sorin Dumitrascu, Alvaro Valles


Sets Julien Peissel

Costumes Aurore Thibout

Lighting Cathy Olive

Choreography Stéphanie Chêne

Video Christian Archambeau

Drawings Philippe Dupuy

Dramaturgy Leslie Six



This is Julie Berès’ first entry into the opera world. She was invited to direct Orfeo by the Opéra National de Paris, which brought together for this new production soloists from the Académie and the musicians and chorus from Les Cris de Paris. There is a slight experimental quality which works well for this favola in musica (musical fable), composed by Monteverdi in 1607; it was considered so experimental in its time that now it is seen as the first true opera in music history. At the heart of Orfeo, there is the unending, essential quest by Man seeking eternity and infinity in spite of his mortal, fragile nature. There is a dialogue of shadows and light in this millenial myth. Using all the resources of the stage space in the large Bastille Opera space, reinforcing the fable by projecting animated cartoons, Julie Berès makes Orfeo into a veritable initiatory voyage.


Opéra Bastille-Paris May 11 – 13 – 17 – 19 – 21, 2016

“A handsome Orfeo, young and experimental, in the Bastille amphitheatre.”

Télérama, Sophie Bourdais, May 13, 2016

“After a superb fixed overture, the scenic equivalent of an orchestral unison, Berès’ direction offers stunning moments of vivacity against a bucolic setting of grass and tree trunks in a delightful green marriage scene between Orfeo and Euridice.”

Libération, Guillaume Tion

“Under the energetic baton of Geoffroy Jourdain, an ingeniously simple staging by Julie Bérès and with a number of magnificent voices, this little jewel is an enchanting event, full of life and dreams we aspire to. […] Young, sensual, present and vibrant, baroque in the best sense of the word, this production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo is a true delight.”

Toute la Culture, Yael, May 12, 2016

“Somber, including the first act which includes the marriage of Orfeo and Eurydice, the setting offers several extremely beautiful tableaux: Music’s appearance in her gigantic celestial dress and the funeral wake with its candles, the bodies of women lying on a table, dead in the eyes of the Hero.”

Olyrix, Damien Dutilleul, May 12, 2016

“In her maiden voyage into opera direction, Julie Berès succeeds handily, with the assistance of Mirabelle Ordinaire (from the Académie), blending animation and fantasy, which are in theory not easily mixed. The stage is covered with green grass, with large boxes and animal skins spread here and there, with individuals in rags performing exaggerated movements in camped-up situations. The clever lighting (by Cathy Olive) and spirited choreography (by Stéphanie Chène), enliven this well-directed piece.”

Concertclassis.com – Pierre-Réné Serna, May 15, 2016