Orphee aux enfers - a comedy set in Thebes.
In Czech original version. English surtitles.
Orphee aux enfers is a brilliant comedy replete with gods, set in Thebes, on Olympus and in the kingdom of Pluto, the ruler of the Underworld. The composer and the librettist Ludovic Halevy turned one of the best-known Greek myths inside out, transforming the couple into a dysfunctional family, with the two partners cheating on each other and Eurydice running away for a better life to join her lover, Pluto, in the Underworld. The widowed Orpheus does not have much time to enjoy it, as Public Opinion orders him to go to Olympus in order to coax Eurydice back. The gods on Olympus rebel against their eventless and boring life. Eurydice gets bored in the Underworld and she willingly yields to the disguised Jupiter. And owing to Jupiter, Orpheus’ expedition to the Underworld fails and everything ends happily: Eurydice becomes a merrymaker on Olympus and Orpheus is finally free!
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), the “Mozart of the Champs-Élysées” was an inspired artist, whose work includes dozens of vaudevilles and operettas. One of the most acclaimed and popular was his operetta Orphée aux enfers, which against the background of the mythological story parodied the political and social situation during the time of the Second French Empire under Napoleon III. Thanks to its forcible melodies, effulgent dialogues and the ”Infernal Galop” (the music for the “can-can”), which in the wake of the work’s premiere, on 21 October 1858 at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Orphee aux enfers went on to become a musical symbol of Paris.
In Bohemia, this operetta was first staged on 13 December 1863 at the Royal Czech Provisional Theatre in Prague. One and a half centuries since its premiere, the operetta remains a dashing satire entertaining audiences worldwide.
State Opera soloists
State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
There is one intermission.
The program may be subject to change.
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