Joseph Haydn’s ORFEO: The Soul of the Philosopher

May 26, 2023 | 7:30PM - 10:00PM

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This event will take place at MacMillan Theatre, Faulty of Music, University of Toronto, 80 Queens' Park, Toronto.
The North American stage premiere of the contraband opera from 1791
The Soul of the Philosopher (L’anima del filosofo) is Joseph Haydn’s lost Orfeo, declared contraband and shut down before its premiere in 1791. The opera lay dormant in dusty Eastern European archives until the Cold War. Now, sponsored in part by the Humanities Initiative of the Munk School, Haydn’s ambitious political setting of this tragic, mythic love story comes to the North American stage at the University of Toronto.
London censors feared that this rendition resonated too closely with the rebellious enlightenment ideals of revolutionary France and shut down the production during rehearsals. When the opera finally premiered in Florence in 1951, a young Maria Callas performed as Euridice, the only role she ever originated. Now, an innovative collaboration between the University of Toronto and McGill University assembles artists and students from across Canada and the US to animate this ancient tale of greed, passion, and self-control.
May 26-27 • 7:30pm • MacMillan Theatre, University of Toronto, 80 Queens Park, Toronto
Tickets are free and may be obtained at: