The opera was commissioned for the Kingís Theatre, Haymarket, London, in 1791 but, due to political intrigue, it was not performed. First complete performance (unstaged) in the recording made by the Haydn Society HSLP 2029, conducted by Hans Swarowsky, 1950; first staged performance, Maggio Musicale, Florence, with Maria Callas, Boris Christoff, Tygge Tyggeson, conducted by Erich Kleiber, 1951.
synopsis The Orpheus myth is recorded in Ovidís Metamorphoses, Books IX and X, and Virgilís Georgics, Book IV. Badiniís libretto, however, is not simply a re-telling of the Classical myth but rather reads the myth through the prism of the European Enlightenment, hence the superposition of the original title of the opera. The chorus is employed throughout the opera as in Classical Greek tragedy.