Yes, this is my favorite Handel opera!
Contrary to his Orlando Furioso last year in Paris, for his Orlando in Brussels --that was premiered only a week ago-- Pierre Audi did have a guiding idea, practically defined at the beginning of the show, and it actually works well* [So even Audi's tired style gets better when staged at La Monnaie/De Munt.] The only problem is the snail pace of the dramatic action but thankfully the soloists are very engaging in incarnating their respective roles that eventually made the evening a passionate experience. The sets and costumes by Christof Hetzer definitely help supporting the overall atmosphere too (Hetzer usually works with David Hermann).
Sunhae Im and Sophie Karthäuser add to to the overall beauty by their expressive and delicate singing. Konstantin Wolff's warm bass breaks the symmetry of high voices and helps Kristina Hammarström's broad mezzo establishing some kind of vocal equilibrium on the stage.
5 truly magnificent singers!
The show will be streamed on La Monnaie website starting from May 12 and it will be available during three weeks. If you're in the mood for something delicately sung and acted then do give this Orlando a try. Theatrically it is nowhere near the show I saw at the Komische, but it has other qualities that definitely whirl you in this subtle fire only 15 minutes after the beginning of the show.
I understood that initially René Jacobs was supposed to come to La Monnaie with the Freiburger Barockorchester but due to budget cuts the organizers had to opt for a young baroque orchestra B'Rock -- obviously much less known than the famous crew from Freiburg, but René made them sound terrific. Bravi!
(*) I won't pass you the guiding idea because the snail pace of the dramatic action would not be enough to sustain your attention on May 12; I'd rather pass you my love for this intelligent opera.