Great Performances: Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago
Staged by acclaimed director-choreographer John Neumeier and produced in collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet
Premieres Friday, January 18 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
The most enduringly popular opera by German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orphée et Eurydice recounts the famous myth of Orpheus, the legendary Greek musician and poet who is grief-stricken over the untimely death of his wife, Eurydice.
Staged by acclaimed director-choreographer John Neumeier and produced in collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new co-production with Los Angeles Opera and Staatsoper Hamburg seamlessly melds opera and dance. Lyric’s production stars Tenor Dmitry Korchak as Orphée with Sopranos Andriana Chuchman as Eurydice and Lauren Snouffer as Amour.
The Chicago Tribune deemed the production “triumphant” and “miraculously fresh and alive.” The production features Gluck’s reworking of the original German opera into a French-language production featuring ballet.
Orpheus is distraught after the sudden death of his young wife Eurydice. After being persuaded by Amour, the god of love, Orpheus journeys into the Underworld to find his wife, where he must brave the Furies before reaching her in Elysium. He is allowed to bring Eurydice back with him to earth, but on the condition that he not look back at her until they are above ground. As they ascend, Eurydice becomes frustrated that her husband will not turn around to see her, but when Orpheus finally relents, she falls lifeless. Moved by Orpheus’ despair, Amour restores Eurydice to life.
Orphée et Eurydice joins a month-long set of classical music programming from Great Performances and Great Performances at the Met, including The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Gala (January 11), Aida (January 20), Doubt from Minnesota Opera (January 25), and Marnie (February 1).
Short TV Listing:
Experience Christoph Willibald Gluck’s enduringly popular opera based on the famous Greek myth.
Long TV Listing:
Experience Christoph Willibald Gluck’s enduringly popular French-language opera based on the famous Greek myth. From Lyric Opera of Chicago in collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet. Starring Dmitry Korchak, Andriana Chuchman and Lauren Snouffer.
- Dmitry Korchak – Orpheus
- Andriana Chuchman – Eurydice
- Lauren Snouffer – Amour
- Harry Bicket – conductor
- The Joffrey Ballet
- John Neumeier – director, choreographer, production designer
- Heinrich Tröger – associate set designer
- Chris Maravich – lighting realization
- Michael Black – chorus master
- August Tye – ballet mistress
Matthew Diamond, who directed Lyric’s world-premiere of Bel Canto – the Opera on Great Performances, directs Orphée et Eurydice. A production of Lyric Opera of Chicago and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, Orphée et Eurydice is produced by John Walker. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
Major funding for Great Performances: Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago is provided by Liz Stiffel, Sonia Florian, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, the Galvin Family honoring Mary Galvin, Ethel and William Gofen, Jim and Kay Mabie, Rosemarie and Dean L. Buntrock, Pam and Russ Strobel, and Virginia Tobiason. Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Irene Diamond Fund, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Phillip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Abra Prentice Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus and PBS. Exclusive corporate support for the concert is provided by Rolex.
New Lyric coproduction of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice generously made possible by The Monument Trust (UK), the Abbott Fund, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, the NIB Foundation, an Anonymous Donor, J.P. Morgan, The Anne and Burt Kaplan Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, and Liz Stiffel.
Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming.
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WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! And Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history experience. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person. Through multi-platform initiatives Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America and Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change, WNET showcases the human stories around these issues and promising solutions. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.
Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.
Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.
To learn more about Lyric’s current season, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1718 #LongLivePassion