Premieres Friday, January 18 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
The most enduringly popular opera by German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orphée et Eurydice recounts the famous myth of Orpheus, the legendary Greek musician and poet who is grief-stricken over the untimely death of his wife, Eurydice.
Staged by acclaimed director-choreographer John Neumeier and produced in collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new co-production with Los Angeles Opera and Staatsoper Hamburg seamlessly melds opera and dance. Lyric’s production stars Tenor Dmitry Korchak as Orphée with Sopranos Andriana Chuchman as Eurydice and Lauren Snouffer as Amour.=
The Chicago Tribune deemed the production “triumphant” and “miraculously fresh and alive.” The production features Gluck’s reworking of the original German opera into a French-language production featuring ballet.
Orpheus is distraught after the sudden death of his young wife Eurydice. After being persuaded by Amour, the god of love, Orpheus journeys into the Underworld to find his wife, where he must brave the Furies before reaching her in Elysium. He is allowed to bring Eurydice back with him to earth, but on the condition that he not look back at her until they are above ground. As they ascend, Eurydice becomes frustrated that her husband will not turn around to see her, but when Orpheus finally relents, she falls lifeless. Moved by Orpheus’ despair, Amour restores Eurydice to life.
Orphée et Eurydice joins a month-long set of classical music programming from Great Performances and Great Performances at the Met, including The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Gala (January 11), Aida (January20), Doubt from Minnesota Opera (January 25), and Marnie (February 1).
- Dmitry Korchak – Orpheus
- Andriana Chuchman – Eurydice
- Lauren Snouffer – Amour
- Harry Bicket – conductor
- The Joffrey Ballet
- John Neumeier – director, choreographer, production designer
- Heinrich Tröger – associate set designer
- Chris Maravich – lighting realization
- Michael Black – chorus master
- August Tye – ballet mistress
Matthew Diamond, who directed Lyric’s world-premiere of Bel Canto – the Opera on Great Performances, directs Orphée et Eurydice. A production of Lyric Opera of Chicago and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, Orphée et Eurydice is produced by John Walker. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
Major funding for Great Performances: Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago is provided by Liz Stiffel, Sonia Florian, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, the Galvin Family honoring Mary Galvin, Ethel and William Gofen, Jim and Kay Mabie, Rosemarie and Dean L. Buntrock, Pam and Russ Strobel, and Virginia Tobiason. Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Irene Diamond Fund, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Phillip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Abra Prentice Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus and PBS. Exclusive corporate support for the concert is provided by Rolex.
New Lyric coproduction of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice generously made possible by The Monument Trust (UK), the Abbott Fund, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, the NIB Foundation, an Anonymous Donor, J.P. Morgan, The Anne and Burt Kaplan Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, and Liz Stiffel.