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Orpheus goes Eurotrash March 25, 2007

Posted by Jeff in French, Jacques Offenbach, Opera, Theater.

From the 1997 Theatre de la Monnaie production, the Act I finale of Jacques Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld).

GOOD: The singing and the orchestra performance.

BAD: Did anyone bother to direct the actors?

GOOD: This clip ends with a very impressive bit of stagework (I’ll admit, the main reason I’m posting this) …

BAD: … which, like everything else in the staging, is completely irrelevant to the plot and theme of the work that Offenbach wrote.

This sequence begins with the denizens of Mount Olympus singing a hymn in praise of Jupiter, followed by a spirited galop as they all prepare to go to Hades where they expect to relieve their boredom at endless ambrosia and blue skies. Unless you know French, would you have had the slighest clue that that was what this video was about?

I’d give anything for a DVD of the production originally staged by the English National Opera and designed by Gerald Scarfe, that was brought to the Los Angeles Opera in 1989.

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1. Karl Johan - October 16, 2007

I agree that this Monnaie spectacle was not good. However, also in La Monnaie in Feb 2007, there was a marvellous Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui…” with music, singing, staging, everything lovely, and especially the very young coming great soprano Hendrickje van Kerckhove (spelling not guaranteed). I pray this will come back on stage and as DVD.

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