Orphée aux Enfers

Author(s): Music by Jacques Offenbach, text by Hector Crémieux & Ludovic Halévy
Company: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Here is an irrelevant take on the tragic story of the lovers Orpheus and Eurydice.

Eurydice hates the music personified by her spouse, Orpheus, a humble music teacher from Thebes. Aristaeus, a shepherd and divine seducer, is actually Pluto himself disguised. Jupiter, father of the gods, is constantly on the prowl for the ladies. Yes the goddesses and gods are weary of everyday life on Olympus and are in search of diversions.

Burning with curiosity about the beautiful abductee and the contest between Jupiter and Pluto for the favour of Eurydice, the illustrious company embarks on a hellish ride into the underworld, culminating in probably the most famous can-can in music history.

In this production from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence from 2009 with a young cast from the European Academy of Music, director Yves Beaunesne transposes the action to the 1940s and spreads it over the four floors of a bourgeois residence, from the kitchen (Orpheus' home) to the attic (the Underworld), via the dining room (Olympus) and the bedroom (Pluto's boudoir).


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