Harry Kupfer's version of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, originally conceived for the Berlin Komische Oper and now in the repertory of The Royal Opera, won an Olivier Award for Most Outstanding Achievement in Opera. According to legend, Orpheus’ magical power as a musician enabled him to regain his wife from the dead on condition that he did not look at her on the journey back from Hades – a condition it proved impossible to fulfil.
In Harry Kupfer’s updated version, Orfeo, in leather jacket, trainers and jeans, sees his Euridice die in a street accident. Succumbing to depression, he languishes in Hades – a psychiatric hospital – before taking his electric guitar to charm the beasts in an inner-city concrete jungle. Hans Schavernoch has designed an ingenious set with projected imagery on revolving screens and mirrors. Jochen Kowalski gives a virtuoso performance as the tormented Orfeo, with Gillian Webster as Euridice.
Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
Cast: Jochen Kowalski, Gillian Webster, Jeremy Budd
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor: Hartmut Haenchen
Production: Harry Kupfer
The Royal Opera Chorus
A Royal Opera House production
Sound: PCM Stereo
Region code: 0
Running time: 83 min