Seattle Opera presents the ultimate story of love lost and regained this February with Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice, which runs for six performances from February 25 through March 10, 2012. Developed from Gluck's original Italian version of 1762, this French version of the opera, first performed in Paris in 1774, is a tour-de-force for tenor and also features significant ballet.
"I have the greatest expectations for our new production of Orphée et Eurydice, and also a great tenor in Bill Burden," says Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera. "In 1988, Seattle Opera scored one of the first real successes of my tenure with this inspiring and moving opera."
Drawing inspiration from the Greek legend, Orpheé et Eurydice tells the story of the devoted musician Orphée (tenor William Burden) and his descent into the underworld to rescue his beloved Eurydice (soprano Davinia Rodríguez) from death. Amour (soprano Julianne Gearhart), the god of love, tests the mythic couple and, in the end, rewards fidelity with bliss. Burden last thrilled Seattle audiences as Edgardo in Seattle Opera's 2010 production of Lucia di Lammermoor, and Rodríguez made her company debut in that same production, as the alternate cast Lucia. Gearhart, a former Seattle Opera Young Artist, most recently appeared in the 2009 Ring as Woglinde and the Forest Bird.
In the pit for Orphée et Eurydice is Gary Thor Wedow, who conducted Handel's Giulio Cesare and Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride in 2007. Stage Director José Maria Condemi returns, following up his success with Il trovatore in 2009 and La bohème in 2007, and choreographer Yannis Adoniou makes his company debut.
The new production is designed by three up-and-coming artists who have stewarded their skills as part of Seattle Opera's Tech and Production Departments. Costume Designer Heidi Zamora, who has recently designed Hamlet for Seattle Children's Theater, RoboPop! for Washington Ensemble Theater, and A Midsummer Night's Dream for Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program, is Seattle Opera's Assistant Costume Shop Manager. Set Designer Phillip Lienau has been Seattle Opera's Design Consultant and Assistant for the last two seasons; current projects include designing a new production of Florencia en el Amazonas for Opera Colorado. And Connie Yun, who first came to Seattle Opera for the 2001 Ring, lit the recent production of Attila.
Seattle Opera's production of Orphée et Eurydice is sponsored by Gladys Rubinstein. William Burden's performances are sponsored by David E. Gannett. Davinia Rodríguez's performances are sponsored by the James and Sherry Raisbeck Lead Singers' Fund. Julianne Gearhart's performances are sponsored by Janice Condit. Microsoft is Seattle Opera's 2011/12 season sponsor.
Orphée et Eurydice opens Saturday, February 25, and runs through Saturday, March 10. Single tickets start at $25 and are available online at seattleopera.org, and by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619.
Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Please note the following artist list for Orphée et Eurydice replaces all previously announced cast lists. Further information on the 2011/12 season and full biographies of the cast members can be found at seattleopera.org.