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Orfeo Ed Euridice

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, April 4, 2020 - 1:00pm

Composer:

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK

Conductor:

Mark Wigglesworth

Cast:

Hei-Kyung Hong (Euridice), Hera Hyesang Park (Amore), Jamie Barton (Orfeo)

ACT I

Nymphs and shepherds lament the death of Euridice, who was bitten by a snake. Left alone, Orfeo, Euridice’s husband, adds his voice to the rites. Only Echo replies. Orfeo vows to rescue Euridice from the underworld.

Amore, god of love, appears with word that Jove, pitying Orfeo, will allow him to descend into the land of the dead to retrieve Euridice. To make this trial more difficult, Orfeo must neither look at Euridice, nor explain why looking is forbidden. Otherwise he will lose her forever. Orfeo agrees and begins his voyage.

 

ACT II

Furies and ghosts try to deny Orfeo’s passage to the underworld. His lament softens and placates them. He is eventually allowed to pass through to the Elysian Fields.

Orfeo is moved by the beauty of the landscape. Heroes and heroines bring Euridice to him. Without looking at her, he takes her away.

 

ACT III

Orfeo leads Euridice toward the upper world, forbidden to look at her. Orfeo can’t explain. Euridice panics at the thought of a life without the love of Orfeo, and, in desperation, he turns to her. She dies, again. Grief-stricken, Orfeo wonders how he can live without her. He decides to kill himself.

Amore appears and stays Orfeo’s hand. In response to Orfeo’s deep love and devotion, Amore revives Euridice for the second time. The three return to Earth. Orfeo, Euridice, Amore, the nymphs, and the shepherds all celebrate the power of love.

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