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L’Euridice

Henri IV of France married Maria de' Medici in 1600. A new art-form - opera - played an important role in the wedding celebrations in Florence, with Jacopo Peri's L'Euridice being performed on 6 October at the Palazzo Pitti. Giulio Caccini, however, was clearly in some opposition to his illustrious colleague and beat him to publication; his own version of the same Rinuccini libretto appeared in print in December of the same year. Caccini's lyricism, emotion and skilled vocal writing show clearly that his L'Euridice is the true forerunner of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo. Synopsis: It is the wedding day of Orpheus and Eurydice. Nymphs and shepherds rejoice when Daphne arrives, carrying a tragic news: Eurydice, stung by a snake, has just expired his last breath. Orpheus does not resolve to the loss of his promise, and escorted by Venus, he tries by the art of his song and the rhetoric of his speech to convince Pluto to make Eurydice to life. The god of the underworld succumbs, and the couple joins their friends on earth, who struggle to believe their eyes: Eurydice has indeed returned to life.