Orpheus and Eurydice

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Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Eurydice; Orpheus and Eurydice) is an opera composed by C.W. Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. The piece was first performed at Vienna in 1762, and it stands as the first of Gluck's "reform" operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in both the music and the drama. The opera is the most popular of Gluck's works, and one of the most influential on subsequent German opera. Variations on its plot – the underground rescue-mission in which the hero must control, or conceal, his emotions – include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Beethoven's Fidelio and Wagner's Das Rheingold. Though originally set to an Italian libretto, Orfeo ed Euridice owes much to the genre of French opera, particularly in its use of accompanied recitative and a general absence of vocal virtuosity. 

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