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Orpheus in the Underworld

28th April - 3rd May 1980
Derek Collins
Musical Director:
Ken Ferris

Although based on the famous Orpheus myth, Offenbach has satirised the story, turning it on its head for his operetta.

Unlike the tragic tale of love and loss that many of us know, in this version, Orpheus is in fact glad to be rid of his deceased wife, who has been having an affair with Pluto.

When Eurydice ends up in the underworld, Public Opinion forces the reluctant Orpheus to rescue his wife. Jupiter states Orpheus can retrieve Eurydice from the underworld, so long as he does not turn to look back at her. On their way out, however, Jupiter (who has since fallen in love with Eurydice) lets loose a lightning bolt, causing Orpheus to jump and look back. Eurydice vanishes back into the underworld and everyone (except Public Opinion) is thrilled with the result.

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