‘Orfeo Ed Euridice’ is an operatic portrayal of romantic Greek tragedy

The UCO School of Music will be performing three shows of the Italian opera, “Orfeo Ed Euridice” from March 1 to March 3.
“Orfeo ed Euridice,” an operatic adaptation of the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, dates back to 1762 and was originally created by Christoph Gluck with an Italian libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi. It was highly influential in the world of opera in the eighteenth century and continues to be an important part of theater.
“The beginning of any foreign language show, one of the first things we’re supposed to do is go through all of the text and make sure we know what it means,” said Rob Glaubitz, director of the School of Music. He also said that Italian language and diction is a core part of the training for all vocal performance students. While the opera has a history with varying vocal types in the male lead, Glaubitz says that the UCO production has two casts, both utilizing a female mezzo soprano for the role of Orfeo. The role of Amore, the god of love, has been altered for this production to add the personality of Hades in traditional Greek mythology. Amore is portrayed by a tenor male student in one cast and a soprano female student in the other.
“Orfeo ed Euridice” puts a large emphasis on dance as a part of the storytelling. For this production, the choreography was done by Alexander Oliveri and Tina Campbell, two dance professors at UCO. The show is traditionally choreographed in ballet, but Oliveri and Campbell have opted to change that.
“[Our show] has a lot more modern dance influence, which makes it really cool because you can kind of depict those Furies and Underworld creatures in a different way than if it was just straight up classical ballet,” said Glaubitz.
Opera may seem inaccessible to most students, as it has a reputation for being exclusive. Glaubitz says that’s not true of opera at UCO. There are supertitles projected above the stage during the show so the audience can follow along in English, bypassing the issue of the show being in Italian. Additionally, Glaubitz says there’s no difference between attending the opera, the ballet, or Lyric Theatre.
“We just want people to come and enjoy the show and that’s the most important thing. Doesn’t matter what they look like, what they were, who they are,” Glaubitz said.
“Orfeo ed Euridice” will be shown at Mitchell Hall Theatre on the main campus of UCO. There will be shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, and a show at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. Tickets range from $10-$20 and are free for students with a valid UCO ID.

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