Love, death and eternal struggle are just a few ideas present in C. W. Von Gluck’s “Orfeo Ed Euridice.”
After Orfeo is happily married to his love, Euridice, she is murdered suddenly sending Orfeo into a staggering depression. He is then visited by the god of love, Amore, who gives him the chance to get his love back.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, Lyric Theatre, Interactive Multimedia and the Department of Music’s presentation of this classic opera in the College’s Kendall Hall was a special performance to see.
Orfeo’s part, played by sophomore music education major Diana Befi and senior vocal music education major Allison Gibbons, was a noticeably challenging part to play. Befi, who performed the Sunday matinee show, was truly a sight to see. At one passage as Befi sung through the Italian lyrics, “I will go from the sad shores and cross the River Styx to overcome the Furries of the horrid Tartarus,” Befi’s voice soared and danced through a complex and challenging melody.
Orfeo enters the gates of hell to try to find his love.
A special aspect of the performance was the great set work displayed throughout the opera. A digital background changes with each new scene of the play, adding a special layer of imagination to an already esoteric experience.
After reaching the Elysian fields, Orfeo finds his love but is not allowed to look at her or she will die. Orfeo fails to keep himself from gazing upon his long lost love and Euridice dies. In his sorrow he is visited once again by Amore, who informs him that he has passed the tests of faith and love and returns Orfeo and Euridice to the world of the living.
The ensemble of performers gave a fantastic performance of this noticeably challenging opera and the production, both props and digital background, made the show that much better.
Euridice, played by senior vocal music education major Natalie Pica and Jacquelyn Briggs, was not an easy part to play either.
The production also featured dancer Samantha Kulh, whose interpretive dance in the middle of the opera was brilliantly graceful.
The orchestra also performed well — the powerful dynamics of the timeless score to this classic opera was played beautifully.
The singing and choreography were noticeably well-rehearsed, which made this production a special treat to see. If you have yet to see a great show at the College, don’t miss Lyric Theatre’s next project, as this one was a complete success.