Jacques Offenbach

Orpheus in the Underworld

  • An Operetta (Opéra-Bouffon) in Two ActsI
  • Premiere 8 October 2015 I
  • Calendar
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18 November 2022 19:30 SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana
19 November 2022 19:30 SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana
15 December 2022 19:00 SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana
16 December 2022 19:00 SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana
17 December 2022 17:00 SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana

We will be starting our season with a somewhat more comical or satirical version of the Myth about Orpheus, as created by Jacques Offenbach (1819—1880). The composer, whose real name was Jakob Levy Eberscht, borrowed his nickname Offenbach from the town lying not far away from his native City of Cologne. When he finished his study of music in Paris, he became an excellent cellist and then a composer as well, who conquered the Parisian stages for more than thirty years. In order to perform his own works, he even established a theatre. In just a year after its opening night the operetta Orpheus in the Underworld (premiered in Paris, in 1858) saw 250 repeat performances! And, amazingly enough, its melody for the »can-can« remained widely popular until this day. The work, which was originally titled in Slovenian as Orpheus in the Underworld (today it is titled as Orpheus in Inferno) was last performed in our theatre back in 1925. Although Offenbach was a very popular composer among Ljubljana’s opera lovers, many of his operettas were unfortunately performed on our stage only before the Second World War, except for The Tales of Hoffman, which could be seen more often. Quite memorable though was the internationally renowned world premiere of his romantic opera The Nymphs of the Rhine in Cankarjev dom in 2005.

Mostly celebrated for his masterfully composed music for »can-can«, the story of Offenbach’s Orpheus actually revolves around a music conservatory director in Thebes, who, bored by his wife Eurydice, falls in love with another Nymph. Eurydice, who is fed up with her husband’s wilfulness as well, falls in love with a passing Shepherd. And thus they have a reason for a divorce! The Public Opinion (a character from the operetta) demands of Orpheus to fight not only for his reputation, but for his wife as well … Will they manage to save their marriage?

After the successful staging of the Viennese operetta The Bat, the Ljubljana Opera Theatre will enrich its repertoire with the famous Parisian operetta as newly translated into Slovenian by Primož Vitez. Returning to put on our stage yet another performance will be the famous Slovenian stage director Vito Taufer, whereas the production will be conducted by Maestro Marko Gašperšič.