Saturday, December 18, 2021

Eurydice in HD

 

Eurydice................Erin Morley, soprano 
Orpheus.................Joshua Hopkins, baritone 
Orpheus’s Double........Jakub Józef Orlinski, countertenor 
Father..................Nathan Berg, baritone 
Hades...................Barry Banks, tenor 
Little Stone............Stacey Tappan, soprano 
Big Stone...............Ronnita Miller, mezzo 
Loud Stone..............Chad Shelton, tenor 

Conductor...............Yannick Nézet-Séguin 
Director................Mary Zimmerman 

The opera Eurydice by Matthew Aucoin on a libretto by Sarah Ruhl premiered in Los Angeles in 2020. It's based on a play by Sarah Ruhl and is in English. This is the Orpheus myth from the woman's point of view. It's a preferred topic for operas because it's about the power of music even over the gods. Orpheus can lure the gods into releasing Eurydice from hell. 

We are 20 minutes in and they have violated an important rule: there should be an aria, preferably for the soprano, in the first 10 minutes. So far just talky stuff. They tried all recitative operas at the beginning of opera, but it didn't work out. We go to hell and see Eurydice's father who still remembers life before death and how to read and write. He writes to Eurydice and sings about it. This is the closest we've come to an aria so far. 

Eurydice comes out in her bridal dress, and father watches her while he sinks back into the earth. Orpheus and Eurydice sing their vows, kiss and dance. Hades arrives and he has a conversation with Eurydice over the water cooler. He brings her the letter from her father. For me the lyrical bits don't go on nearly long enough. Eurydice goes off with Hades and Orpheus comes looking for her. 

I'm sorry. This just isn't happening for me.

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