Operettas / Musicals

Orpheus in the Underworld

Offenbach’s rhythmic and imaginative music, with songs that could nowadays beat every Eurovision hit, the wittiness and excellent punch lines of the librettists, and the chance of giving an enjoyable spectacle to the audience are the reasons why the operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld” should be staged again and again.

Approx. running time 2 h 35 min, one intermission

Hell of a comedy with heavenly music!

Operetta by Jacques Offenbach

Libretto by Hector Crémieux’ and Ludovic Halévy

World premiere on October 21, 1858 in Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens

Premiere in the Estonian National Opera on September 30, 2022

In Estonian with subtitles in Estonian and English

Offenbach’s rhythmic and imaginative music, with songs that could nowadays beat every Eurovision hit, the wittiness and excellent punch lines of the libretto written by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy, and the chance of giving an enjoyable spectacle to the audience are the reasons why the operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld” should be staged again and again.

Who is this Orpheus, and why should I care what he did or did not do in the underworld, or how he ended up there in the first place? Then again, the underworld is a fascinating and unusual place, and none of the spectators have ever been there. Why not show a musical and playful version of this sinful place to the audience, whereas they do not need to be afraid of being thrown into a boiling cauldron.

The story itself is simple and only a little bit supernatural: the mythical Orpheus who charmed everyone with his singing and lyre-playing, has become a violin professor who – oh no! – loses his wife Eurydice by accident and goes to the gods to demand her back. Only that in Offenbach’s opera, he does not go voluntarily, as he actually wants to get rid of the woman; also, she has been having an affair with a neighbour, who later turns out to be Pluton, the ruler of the underworld, so Eurydice is happy to die so that she could be with him. Orpheus is forced to embark on the heroic journey to the underworld by a character called the Public Opinion who ensures that both the myth and moral rules are being followed. Before descending to the underworld, they seek for Eurydice at Jupiter’s, which is when the king of the gods finds out about his younger brother’s conquests and starts to desire the woman himself. Eurydice has nothing against the higher-ranking deity either. However, in the end, both of them lose out and the woman ends up with Bacchus, the god of wine, which she does not seem to mind either. Nobody else seems to be bothered about it, since it is time for the timelessly cheerful cancan that everybody dances to, including the Public Opinion.

 

Stage Director Liis Kolle

Cast:

Orpheus, violin teacher: Oliver Kuusik, Heldur Harry Põlda

Eurydike, his wife: Elina Nechayeva, Kristel Pärtna

Aristaios/Pluto, god of the underworld: Reigo Tamm, Mati Turi

Public Opinion: Juuli Lill, Annaliisa Pillak

Cupido, naughty god of love: Carol Männamets, Kadri Nirgi, Janne Ševtšenko

Venus, goddess of love: Helen Lokuta, Karis Trass

Diana, goddess of fertility and the hunt: Kadri Kõrvek, Heli Veskus

Jupiter, king of the gods: Rauno Elp, Tamar Nugis

Mercurius, god of commerce and prosperity: Aare Kodasma, René Soom

Minerva, goddess of wisdom and arts: Merit Kraav, Maria Leppoja

John Styx, servant of Pluto: Mart Madiste, Mehis Tiits

Juno, queen of gods, Jupiter' s wife: Triin Ella, Aule Urb

Mars, god of war: Tambet Kikas, Mart Laur

 

Estonian National Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Extras.

Stage Director

Liis Kolle

Music Director

Arvo Volmer

Set Designer

Jaagup Roomet

Costume Designer

Reili Evart

Lighting

Rene Liivamägi

Choreographer

Dmitri Harchenko

Conductors

Kaspar Mänd

Jaan Ots

Thu

08. December 2022 19:00

Show times

Thu

08. December 2022 19:00

Thu

29. December 2022 19:00

Sat

14. January 2023 19:00

Fri

27. January 2023 19:00

Fri

17. March 2023 19:00

Thu

06. April 2023 19:00 Harjumaa teatripäev!

Thu

04. May 2023 19:00

Sat

10. June 2023 19:00