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Pocket Opera: Orpheus in the Underworld

Maya Kherani and Sean Irwin as Eurydice and Jupiter
in disguise as a fly.   
1:55 p.m. Have any of you ever been in the Florence Gould Theatre? Well, it's very small and very beautiful. The ceiling is round and covered in manneristic drawings of cupids and angels. The stage is lighted with green, and most of the musicians aren't on the stage, yet. It's 2:00 p.m. The show does not start. Well, at least it gives me more time to describe to you, my dear reader, the audience. A man walks about, looking for his seat. The candle holders around the walls of the auditorium are lit. Four candles in each one. (Just so you know, they're not real candles. Light bulbs do all the magic.) It's 2:05. The performance has begun.
 
3:20 p.m. Intermission:
Offenbach with his son Auguste. 
This is very funny! Very amusing as well. The singers are all in good shape. The audience is laughing and enjoying themselves. The translation is very funny as well. I remember a few years ago I watched a performance of Orpheus, and when Eurydice found out that she was going to Hell, she said something like,

"I'm going to Hell? But I've never even been to Tahoe!" This phrase was not present in this translation, (translated by Donald Pippin, by the way!).

The costumes here are very colorful. I have a weakness for colorful costumes. (As you may or may not know from my Gilbert & Sullivan The Sorcerer review.) This time, the costumes were basically shiny tunics on everyone, except for Public Opinion. She is never going to stop being my favorite operetta character. She's dressed more like in the mid 1900s.

I particularly liked Mercury and his shiny tunic. Very amusing. Don't know what else to say about the first act, Eurydice suffering from Orpheus' music making was also quiet funny! It's 3:53 p.m. by the way. Act 2 begins.

The end was very random for my taste. I didn't expect Eurydice to end up partnering up with Dionysus. A very shocking turn of events! The singing was wonderful from everyone and I loved the scene with Zeus as a fly. John Styx seemed to me a useless and funny character.

Jacques Offenbach





The spectacular cast included Michael Desnoyers as Orpheus, Maya Kherani as Eurydice, Daniel Galpin as Pluto, Diana Kehrig as Public Opinion, Sean Irwin as Jupiter, Sonia Gariaeff as Juno, Stacey Lichter as Diana, Megan Stetson (also sang in The Sorcerer) as Venus, Elana Cowen as Minerva, Chelsea Hollow as Cupid, Samuel Palmer as Mercury, Alex Tarczynski as Mars, Alan Briones as Bacchus, and Andrew Nickell as John Styx. Conducted by the wonderful Donald Pippin on piano. Music by Jacques Offenbach.

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