Jean Cocteau, Untitled, 1961, © Bildrecht / Comité Cocteau, Wien 2022.
About the Production


The creators of musical theatre made early use of the myth of the Thracian singer Orpheus who follows his dead bride Eurydice down into the underworld in order to restore her to the realm of the living by the power of his song. What makes Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice so outstanding is that despite the title it concentrates on a single figure: Orfeo. The work shows an artist in his loneliness, for whom the death of a loved one be­comes the central theme. In the process, Gluck places his music wholly at the service of dramatic expression. 

Dance also plays an important role in Orfeo ed Euridice, making a merging of the roles of director and choreographer an obvious choice. In Christof Loy’s view, dance should by no means be seen as a discrete element: the borders between dance and text, music and movement should be fluid. The notion of boundlessness is also emphasized by the stage in its evocation of a path that could begin all over again without end. 

The new Salzburg production is based on the ‘Parma version’ of the opera from 1769 for which Gluck eliminated the three-act structure of the first, Viennese version, combining the scenes to form a single act. The production follows the notion of unity on various levels, enabling the dilemma confronting Orfeo to appear as purely as possible in order to en­gage the emotions of the audience and offer possibilities for identification. 


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