Opera Scotland

Malheurs d'Orphée Les malheurs d'Orphée; The Sorrows of Orpheus

Music

Darius Milhaud (born Aix-en-Provence, 4 September 1892; died Geneva, 22 June 1974)

Text

Armand Lunel

Source

Classical legend.

 

Premieres

First Performance: Brussels (Théâtre de la Monnaie), 7 May 1926.

First Performance in UK: London (St Pancras Town Hall), 8 March 1960.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Alexander Gibson Opera Studio), tbc 1995.

 

Background

Milhaud's chamber operatic treatment of the Orpheus myth lasts little more than a half-hour, and updates the plot to fairly modern times. Set in the Camargue, in the deep south of France, Orpheus falls for Eurydice, a gypsy girl, and they run off together. When she falls ill and dies, her sisters, modern-day Furies, kill him in the mistaken belief that it was his fault.

The Cast

Charron
 le charron; the wheelwright
Eurydice
 
Loup
 le loup; the wolf
Maréchale
 le maréchale; the blacksmith
Orphée
 
Ours
 L'ours; the bear
Renard
 le renard; the fox
Sanglier
 le sanglier; the boar
Soeur Ainée
 La soeur ainée (the older sister)
Soeur Cadette
 La soeur cadette; the younger sister
Soeur Jumelle
 La soeur jumelle; the twin sister
Vannier
 le vannier; the weaver

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