Opera Scotland

Orpheus and Euridice Orfeo ed Euridice

Tours by decade

1890s - 3 tours

1893 - Royal Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1894 - Royal Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1894 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1910s - 2 tours

1912 - Denhof Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1913 - Denhof Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 1 tour

1929 - Edinburgh Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1960s - 1 tour

1967 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1970s - 1 tour

1979 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1990s - 5 tours

1993 - Perth Festival Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1993 - Scottish Opera
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
1994 - English Bach Festival
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1994 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1996 - Mark Morris Dance Group
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 3 tours

2002 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2003 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2004 - Opera North
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2010s - 5 tours

2015 - About Turn Theatre Company
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2015 - Scottish Opera
Audio Description & Touch Tour
2019 - Scottish Opera Young Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2019 - Edinburgh International Festival
Concert performance
2019 - University of St Andrews Opera Society
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 45 entries

1893 - Royal Italian Opera Company
Edinburgh
1894 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1894 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1894 - Royal Italian Opera Company
Edinburgh
1894 - Royal Italian Opera Company
Glasgow
1912 - Denhof Opera Company
Glasgow
1912 - Denhof Opera Company
Edinburgh
1913 - Denhof Opera Company
Edinburgh
1929 - Edinburgh Opera Company
Edinburgh
1967 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1979 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1993 - Perth Festival Opera
Perth
1993 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1993 - Scottish Opera
Ballachulish, Argyll
1993 - Scottish Opera
Thurso, Caithness
1993 - Scottish Opera
Kirkwall, Orkney
1993 - Scottish Opera
Cromarty
1993 - Scottish Opera
Golspie
1993 - Scottish Opera
Edzell
1993 - Scottish Opera
Galashiels
1993 - Scottish Opera
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
1993 - Scottish Opera
Mallaig
1993 - Scottish Opera
Broadford, Isle of Skye
1993 - Scottish Opera
Ullapool
1993 - Scottish Opera
Elgin, Moray
1993 - Scottish Opera
Acharacle
1993 - Scottish Opera
Linlithgow
1994 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
1994 - Scottish Opera
Fort William
1994 - Scottish Opera
Spennymoor
1994 - Scottish Opera
Ayr
1994 - Scottish Opera
Kirkcaldy
1994 - Scottish Opera
Dundee
1994 - English Bach Festival
Edinburgh
1996 - Mark Morris Dance Group
Edinburgh
2002 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2002 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2003 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2004 - Opera North
Edinburgh
2015 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2015 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2015 - About Turn Theatre Company
Edinburgh
2019 - Scottish Opera Young Company
Greenock
2019 - Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh
2019 - University of St Andrews Opera Society
St Andrews

England, UK - 16 entries

Music
Christoph Willibald Gluck (born Erasbach, 2 July 1714; died Vienna, 15 November 1787)

Text
Raniero da Calzabigi. Revised version by Pierre Louis Moline.

Source
Classical legend.

Premieres

First performance: Vienna (Burgtheater), 5 October 1762.

Revised version: Paris (Opéra), 2 August 1774.

Version revised by Berlioz: Paris (Théâtre Lyrique), 19 November 1859.

First UK performance: London (King’s Theatre), 7 April 1770.

First performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (Royal Lyceum Theatre), 11 September 1893.

Scottish Opera premiere: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 17 October 1979.

 

Background
Gluck and his collaborator Calzabigi were determined to introduce a new style of dramatic composition. The simplicity of the Viennese version can make it very effective in performance. Orphée, the revision for Paris, involved the addition of some new music and the transposition of Orpheus’s part for the French form of high tenor. Subsequent performances were adjusted to include music by various other composers such as J C Bach, Anfossi, Handel and others. In 1859, Berlioz produced a composite edition for Pauline Viardot, retaining most of the additions from Gluck’s French revision, but reinstating the alto tessitura from Vienna. That is the version most commonly employed since.

Characters
Orfeo (alto or tenor)
Amor (soprano)
Euridice (soprano)

Plot Summary
Nymphs and shepherds mourn at the tomb of Euridice. Orpheus is inconsolable. Amor appears, to announce that Jove has given approval for Orpheus to go down to Hades to bring Euridice back to the mortal world. He must pacify the Furies by means of his music. However he must not look back at her during the journey to the surface, or he will lose her forever. The Furies are indeed pacified by his music and let him pass. He reaches the Elysian Fields, where Euridice and the other spirits dance calmly. Euridice now leaves to follow him to the surface. As they walk, she becomes distressed because Orpheus seems to ignore her. When Orpheus can endure this no longer, he looks back, and Euridice immediately dies. Amor is moved at the heart-broken nature of Orpheus’s reaction, and Euridice is once again restored to life.

The Cast

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