Mittwoch, 29.03.2023 21:27 Uhr

Orpheus in the underworld

Verantwortlicher Autor: Nadejda Komendantova Volksoper, Vienna, 19.03.2023, 09:40 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Kunst, Kultur und Musik +++ Bericht 1831x gelesen
Marco Di Sapia (Jupiter), Ursula Pfitzner (Juno)
Marco Di Sapia (Jupiter), Ursula Pfitzner (Juno)  Bild: © Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien

Volksoper, Vienna [ENA] Orpheus in the underworld is a real fest of antiquity brought to the stage in the Volksoper of Vienna. Colourful and phantasy-rich costumes, carefully designed stage with scenes from antiquity myths as well as the fascinating play and strong voices of performers make this opera really unforgettable.

The well-known operetta "Orpheus in the Underworld" by Jacques Offenbach had its world premiere in Paris in 1858. The narrative is based on the Orpheus and Eurydice tale from classical Greece, but it approaches the subject matter in a lighthearted and irreverent manner. The comedic masterpiece performed in the Viennese Volksoper is directed by Spymonkey, Britain's leading physical comedy company.

We initially meet Orpheus and Eurydice in the first act, who are an unhappy couple that fight and laugh at each other all the time. The underground god Pluto is seduced by the beauty of Eurydice and takes her to his place, and at first, Orpheus is hesitant to save her. But, the Public Opinion, a figure that stands in for the voice of the populace, convinces him to do so.

The iconic "Can-Can" dance, one of the operetta's most well-known musical selections, takes place in the second act. At its day, "Orpheus in the Underworld" was a revolutionary work because it combined traditional operatic themes with a funnier and satirical tone. It also included other catchy songs, such as the "Can-Can" and Orpheus' well-known "Galop Infernal." It is still played in theaters all over the world today and is a cherished operetta classic.

In the performance at the Volksoper the personality of Jacques Offenbach comes prominently, with the humorous discussion that a monument for his should be erected in Vienna. German-French composer and cellist Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880) is well known for his operettas. He was a well-known composer who was born Jacob Offenbach in Cologne, Germany. He started out as a cellist. Offenbach started writing operettas, light operas that were well-liked in France in the middle of the 19th century, in the 1850s. "Orpheus in the Underworld," "La Belle Hélène," and "The Tales of Hoffmann" are some of his most well-known compositions. His operettas are renowned for their rousing tunes, clever lyrics, and caustic examinations of French culture.

Throughout his lifetime, the music of Offenbach enjoyed enormous popularity in France and across the entire Europe, and his influence may still be seen in contemporary musical theater. He is regarded as one of the most significant operetta composers, and performances of his works and adaptations of his music in other forms of entertainment continue to honor his legacy.

"Orpheus in the underworld" is the debut at the Viennese Volksoper for the famous Toby Park who received already several awards from various British theatres. "Orpheus in the underworld" is a really comedy triumph of the company Spymonkey. The words Toby Park reflect the best the spirit of the "Orpheus in the underworld" operetta as "live entertainment has held a unique place in our society: it brings us together in our focus, in our connection to each other, in a special place and time. And I think musical theater has the power to do that on a higher level because it brings us together in a very pure, emotional way".

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