Christoph Willibald Gluck was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. Born in the Upper Palatinate (now part of Germany) and raised in Bohemia,[1] he gained prominence at the Habsburg court at Vienna, where he brought about the practical reform of opera’s dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the years. With a series of radical new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, he broke the stranglehold that Metastasian opera seria had enjoyed for much of the century.