New Productions

ORPHEUS oder DIE WUNDERBARE BESTÄNDIGKEIT DER LIEBE
(Orpheus or The Wonderful Constancy of Love)

Georg Philipp Telemann
1681 - 1767
Opera in three acts
Libretto by Georg Philipp Telemann after a tragedy by Michel Du Boullay
World premiere, in concert, on March 9th 1726, Theater am Gänsemarkt, Hamburg
Edition: Peter Huth
First ever performances in Frankfurt
Sung in German, Italian and French with German surtitles
Duration: c. 1 hr 40 mins without interval

About the piece

A woman, rejected and hungry for revenge, interfers with mythology. Telemann’s opera tells of the distructive power of love from h ...
A woman, rejected and hungry for revenge, interfers with mythology. Telemann’s opera tells of the distructive power of love from her point of view. The myth of Orpheus is one of the best loved stories in literary and operatic history, at its centre the power of music and love between Orpheus and Eurydike. But the real main character, in this opera, is Orasia, Queen of Trace who is in love with Orpheus. There is no happy end - Telemann bans all three to the underworld. The music is sensitive with a surprising mix of genre, languages and styles.
    Telemann’s astute planning saved operatic culture in Hamburg in the 1720s. Under his leadership the so-called Gänsemarkt (Goose Market) Theater became Germany’s operatic metropolis, with audiences demanding the best of what European culture had to offer: French ballet as well as Italian arias – which naturally brought national styles and other languages with them, something Telemann mirrored in his works, a synthesis of national styles. His Orpheus was unfairly described as a pastiche because it included some well known passages from Handel and Lully operas. But it was more than that, it was a brave experiment that broke musical and dramaturgical boundaries. Telemann combined his own, strongly protestant, cantata forms with the sensuality of Italian opera and the courtly glamour of France.

Synopsis

Orasia, widowed Queen of Thrace, is throwing a party. She has fallen in love with Orpheus. He rejects her advances. She intends ...
Orasia, widowed Queen of Thrace, is throwing a party. She has fallen in love with Orpheus. He rejects her advances. She intends to get rid of her rival Eurydice, Orpheus' bride. The highlight of the party is a performance by Orpheus and his friend Eurimedes'. Eurydice and Orpheus sing of their love. During the lively party Euridice is killed by a bite from Orasia's snake. Eurimedes loves Cephisa, Orasia's confidante. She rejects him, extolling her freedom. Orpheus is grief-stricken and wants to kill himself. Eurimedes emboldens him to descend into the underworld and bring Euridice back. Enchanted by Orpheus` music Pluto, ruler of the underworld, allows the singer to enter his realm and then agrees to Eurydice go. She is brought to them by Ascalax, Pluto's servant. Orpheus may take Eurydice back to the land of the living on condition that he not turn to look at her until they get there. They have nearly reached their destination when Orpheus turns round, losing his bride again. Orasia is waiting for Orpheus at the entrance to the underworld, ready to kill Eurydice a second time. When Orpheus rejects her again her love turns to fury. Orpheus is left alone in his misery, longing for death. Orasia sets the bacchantes on the singer, who kill him. When Orasia realises that Orpheus and Euridice are now united in death she follows him to the grave to continue trying to win his love.
Performances

Sunday 25.05.2014

Further performances:
27.05.2014  | 29.05.2014  |
31.05.2014  | 01.06.2014  |
03.06.2014  | 06.06.2014  |
08.06.2014

Cast

Conductor
Titus Engel
Director
Florentine Klepper
Set and Costume Designer
Adriane Westerbarkey
Lighting Designer
Jan Hartmann
Dramaturge
Zsolt Horpácsy
Konzertchor Darmstadt
Wolfgang Seeliger

Orasia
Elizabeth Reiter
Orpheus
Sebastian Geyer
Eurydike
Katharina Ruckgaber*
Cephisa
Maren Favela
Eurimedes
Julian Prégardien
Pluto
Vuyani Mlinde
Ascalax
Dmitry Egorov

Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt


* member of the Opera Studio

 
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