Last performance at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège : March 1983
On the death of Eurydice, Orpheus and the shepherds of Arcadia are inconsolable. Amore grants Orpheus the authorisation to journey to the Underworld to bring his beloved back to life. Charming the forces of the Underworld with his lyre and song, plus not turning around until having regained the light of day are the two sole conditions that the gods impose upon him…
THE DOUBLE BEREAVEMENT OF ORPHEUS
Orpheus and Eurydice was the first work to mark the operatic reforms inspired by Gluck, first in Italian in Vienna in 1762, then in French in Paris in 1774 with a counter-tenor voice. It was also a symbol of classical art. It portrays the pain of twice losing a loved one. The first time is due to the hand of fate, but the second displays the weakness of man who does not trust the gods, thus provoking his loss.
Orpheus, who derives his art from Apollo himself, offers us sublime singing. The superb and deeply moving arias follow one another with perfect balance and sweep us up in the torment of a bereaved soul. This excellence went on to find dramatic resonance right up to the romanticism of the 19th century. Franz Liszt wrote a symphonic poem about Orpheus and Hector Berlioz adapted the myth set to music by Gluck for the lyrical theatre.
It is this version that will be performed on our stage in a superb co-production with several major European theatres. It presents the opportunity to again experience, with the utmost and worthy passion, an eternal and still topical myth.
Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers
All the opera performances are preceded by an educational introduction open to all. They take place 30 minutes before the start of the performance, in the company of an opera specialist to provide a pertinent presentation of the work.