GP at the Met: Orfeo ed Euridice
Preview of Orfeo ed Euridice

Stephanie Blythe commands the Met stage as the grieving husband Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice Saturday, May 16 at Noon (ET) on Great Performances at the Met on PBS HD (check local listings).

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Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Orfeo ed Euridice is the mythical tale of poet-singer Orfeo, who driven by despair, enters the underworld determined to retrieve his dead wife.  Mezzo-Soprano Blythe, in her first performance as Orfeo, battles the Furies with her powerhouse voice and “conveys piercing emotional subtleties with every glance and phrase,” wrote The New York Times.  Danielle de Niese co-stars as the beloved wife Euridice.  Mark Morris directs and choreographs, featuring costumes by Isaac Mizrahi.  The telecast is conducted by James Levine and presented by THIRTEEN’s award-winning performances series Great Performances.

Also starring soprano Heidi Grant Murphy as the god of love Amor, Great Performances at the Met: Orfeo ed Euridice is the eighth of 11 productions airing this season on the series.  The performance is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS.  Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers.  Special funding for this telecast is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For the Met, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers.  Peter Gelb is Executive Producer.  For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.

  • Nicole

    Traveled to NY with my good friend to see her son (Durrell Comedy) dance in Orfeo ed Euridice. My very first opera experience and it was absolutely WONDERFUL. Would highly recommend this production to anyone who loves opera and to anyone who has never experienced opera. You will NOT be disappointed.

  • Paul Harris

    The broadcast this afternoon (Sat May 17) was interrpted with breaks. I would like to hear/see the opera like “King Lear” was available to watch.


  • Lesley Carol Prince

    I too felt the breaks somewhat spoiled the opera. I enjoy your operatic episodes very much. I’ve been fascinated by opera since I was a small tot and listened to opera at the Met on the radio together.

  • Lara Piu

    I was sick on the couch this sunny Sunday afternoon and was delighted to find this on TV. The stage settings were simple and elegant, yet dramatic. I especially loved the incorporation of dance. The performances were… well, it’s the Met!

  • Katia

    I caught the last 5 mins of this piece around 5pm yesterday (Sunday) and that’s all it took to want to watch more…it was beautiful!!! Any chance it will be on again anytime soon?

  • Harlow Robinson

    Simply beautiful! I was captivated from beginning to end, despite the interruptions. I TiVOd it and am having friends over to see it this weekend. Bravo Mark Morris! Thank you for bringing this glorious opera to new heights! Thank you James Levine! Thank you for your selection of singers!

  • aztec69

    I’ve been an opera buff for over 50 years and in all that time I could never sit through a performance or recording of Orfeo & Euridice. Yes, I knew it was important. Yes, I knew it had that one lovely tune that went on and on and on.
    But it just bored me. This broadcast convinced me that it was worth watching and listening to. Thanx GP. Now, can you do the same for The Ring?

  • Richard Huemer

    My spouse and I caught this thing again on PBS on June 28. The first time we saw it was in the movie theatre, but my wife soon walked out, along with the friend whom we were trying to introduce to opera. (My wife’s stepfather sang for the Met, so she knows opera and knows what she likes.) I found the sets ugly, the lighting dim, and the costumes commonplace and drab. This minimalist production was aggressively mundane and unattractive to the point of drawing one’s attention away from the singing. The singing (as always at the Met) was first-rate–but the acting wasn’t. Somehow, Stephanie Blythe just wasn’t a convincing Orpheus. I never believed that she was possessed by a passion for Euridice so strong as to lead her beyond the gates of Hell, although heck might have worked. (All of the other HD productions from the Met this year were superlative, and we hope they’ll all be on PBS!)

  • Bill Zahn, Long Beach CA

    What did the stepfather of Richard Huemer’s wife think of the filmed Orpheo ed Eurudice? Everyone does not have to rave about every production, even from the Met. I gave up on La Rondine that preceded O&E on PBS. When I switched back over over, the first tones out of the the pipes of Stephanie Blythe had me wide awake to the very end.
    I started piano eighty years ago and was saturated thru composition and double-dounterpoint canon and fugue with Arnold Schönberg at UCLA in 1942. The G. I. Bill permitted me to escape into medicine; they make a great pairing.
    I have gone decades taping every Met broadcast; have most of the piano-vocal scores in print, and would often play the piano part, sing with the baritones and do the treble parts on the flute. See what I mean by ’saturation’.
    I was raised on Marilyn Horne, but Stephanie Blythe has the best trouser-role voice I’ve ever heard. And I enjoyed the choreography; you could concentrate on various individual dancers while Gluck did his copious repititions. It really gave a nudge to my flagging musical interest–thanks for an exceptional production.

  • Harriet Fishlow

    I loved the music. Blythe is wonderful. But the set was so dark, I gave up watching and just listened.

  • Mike T.

    To each his own, but we were very happy with this production. Mark Morris really knows how to make Gluck’s work come alive onstage, with dance perfectly filling up and complementing the orchestral passages. Stephanie Blythe was just devastatingly good in our opinion. Kudos also to Ms. DeNeise and Ms. Murphy.
    I agree to some extent about the dull three-tiered set, but musically, dramatically and as an example of how to utilize the strengths of music, drama, and dance to make for compelling stage performance, we don’t think you could ask for more. Good going, gang!

  • Merle

    I found this Orfeo ed Euridice compelling and beautiful. The singing was magnificent, the acting convincing, the production values in general original. The sets, costumes, choreography, staging enhanced the drama and intensity of the opera. Mark Morris did an amazing job of creating a 21st century Orfeo ed Euridice that should shine through the ages. Stephanie Blythe was stunning in her depth of feeling. She embodied the yearning and conflict of Orfeo. Danielle de Niese was a passionate, beautiful Euridice, young and vital, absolutely convincing in her demands for attention from her husband. Heidi Grant Murphy brought out the trickster quality of Amor, the god of love, with vivacity and flair. Her costume caused me to giggle conspiratorily. Love is dangerously funny. I first heard an aria from this opera when I attended P.S. 208 in Brooklyn and my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Sayers, taught it to our class. We sang in unison Orfeo’s lament of his loss of his beautiful Euridice. 58 years later, I understand even more deeply what had moved me when I was nine years old, thanks to this glorious production.

  • E Lampke

    While I only caught the last 20 or so minutes on TV, I was captivated by the quality of the singers. Yes, the set was at times dark, but the production showed a great deal of life in the choreography and costumes. Would love to see it again.

  • Yvonne Chamberlyn

    I heard this opera on a live radio broadcast, and I was delighted to see it on TV. This opera is great, and compliments Blythe’s voice. I don’t think the sets were the best ever (the scene with when Euridice dies for the second time had a very dark set and it hurt my eyes a bit) But I loved the singers (Di Neise practically was Euridice) and the dancing! It was great.

  • M Milbach

    I actually enjoyed the set! As a theatre professional I found the use of the screens with performers and crew visible to be as contemporary as the Mizrahi costumes. Especially wonderful was the fiberoptic underworld which seemed to be in constant motion. Thanks. I’ll be having my students check out more opera thanks to this programming.

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