Thursday, August 30, 2007

Orpheus in the Underworld

The adorable Cupid is in the center surrounded by the "girls" from hell.

Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld is a parody of the other operas. The title character is a violinist and is not the most important person at all. That honor goes to Euridice who is bored with her husband Orpheus, she says he plays out of tune, and is involved in an affair with a local shepherd.

The set at the opening is a bench in front of a corn field. Charming. I felt that the heart of Glimmerglass opera might possibly be here. All the Offenbach performances were sold out, and I was lucky to get a ticket. There was an edge of extra enthusiasm in this performance.

There are many gods--Pluto, Cupid, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Diana, Juno, Bacchus--but it is Public Opinion who rules all. And Hell, it turns out, is right under the corn field. And did I mention hell is a brothel?

Outstanding in the cast were Jill Gardner as Euridice, Joélle Harvey as Cupid and Joyce Castle as Public Opinion. At the end is the famous can can number.

[See Kinderkuchen History 1850-70]

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