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Arts & Culture

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera Of Chicago

Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili in "Orphée et Eurydice" from Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography
Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili in "Orphée et Eurydice" from Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Stream now or tune in Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2

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Staged by acclaimed director-choreographer John Neumeier and produced in collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet

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.

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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.

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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.

Lauren Snouffer, Andriana Chuchman and Dmitry Korchak in "Orphée et Eurydice" from Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography
Lauren Snouffer, Andriana Chuchman and Dmitry Korchak in "Orphée et Eurydice" from Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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Credits:

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.