Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orpheus Film Festival: Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers

This opera is the home of the Can-Can.  

Eurydice in Offenbach's treatment is none too content with her bridegroom's negligence, even yielding to the advances of Aristaeus. Audiences who like the way Wicked turned The Wizard of Oz inside out will appreciate that Offenbach's opera reverses ALL our expectations — the Olympians in the Underworld, burlesque carrying on where one might have expected solemnity, and the comic intervention of Public Opinion on the stage.

A person can appreciate this comic operatic romp in its own right; but, recognizing a few riffs from Gluck's Orfeo makes the experience more enjoyable. These allusions to Gluck drive home the point that Offenbach was commenting on the need for reforming his peers' approach to opera.


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