Transcending the limits of life, love, and death ORPHÉE ET EURYDICE opens Saturday, September 23 at 6:30pm to launch Lyric’s 63rd season New production by John Neumeier features Lyric debut of The Joffrey Ballet Seven performances through October 15

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Transcending the limits of life, love, and death


opens Saturday, September 23 at 6:30pm

to launch Lyric’s 63rd season New production by
John Neumeier features Lyric debut of The Joffrey Ballet

Seven performances through October 15

CHICAGO (9/22/17) – Lyric Opera of Chicago launches its 63rd season with Orphée et Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck. This highly anticipated new production created by the legendary director-choreographer John Neumeier marks Lyric’s first collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet.

Orphée et Eurydice opens tomorrowSaturday, September 23, with seven performances through October 15 at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Tickets and information at or 312-827-5600.

  • Lyric’s 2017/18 season premieres the seldom-seen French version of Gluck’s opera, including exceptional ballet music for the “Dance of the Furies” and the “Dance of the Blessed Spirits.”

  • Gluck first wrote Orfeo ed Euridice in Italian in 1762. The male lead was originally sung by a countertenor, in the same vocal range as a female mezzo-soprano. A dozen years later the composer revised the work for the Paris Opera. Aware that Parisians loved ballet, Gluck created extended dance scenes set to beautiful music. He also reset the hero’s music as high tenor, also known as tenore di grazia. (If you’ve ever heard Rossini operas The Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale, or Cinderella, or Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, you’ve heard that gorgeous high-tenor sound.)

  • John Neumeier debuted as a dancer at Lyric in the 1961 world premiere of The Harvest (by Vittorio Giannini), and is the first person in Lyric’s history to serve as director, choreographer, and production designer (sets, costumes, lighting). Heinrich Tröger (Lyric debut) is associate set designer and Chris Maravich is responsible for lighting realization.

  • Neumeier has made dance entirely central to the storytelling in his new production, as you’ll see in the provided images. Neumeier’s Orphée is a modern-day choreographer, his Eurydice a prima ballerina, and Amour is the choreographer’s assistant. Dancers fill the stage throughout this vision of the opera.

  • It remains an opera with dance, and the story ultimately belongs to the three outstanding international singing artists and the unseen, mighty chorus.

  • The story: Familiar from Greek myths, the plot centers on Orphée (Dmitry Korchak/Lyric debut), whose singing was so beautiful that it could charm the fierce guardians of the Underworld. Encouraged by the god of love, Amour (Lauren Snouffer), Orphée travels to Hades to bring his dead wife, Eurydice (Andriana Chuchman), back to earth.

  • 60 members of the Lyric Opera Chorus portray the Denizens of Hades & the Blessed Spirits of Elysium, prepared by Michael Black, Lyric’s chorus master.

  • 47 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra are in the orchestra pit plus 6 stageband musicians backstage, conducted by Harry Bicket, who most recently at Lyric led performances of Carmen last season at Lyric and who conducted the Italian version of Gluck’s opera here in 2005/06.

  • 43 dancers of The Joffrey Ballet, prepared by director-choreographer John Neumeier.

    Performance dates for Orphée et Eurydice are Sept. 23 (6:30pm, opening night of the season), Sept. 27, Oct. 6, and Oct. 9 at 7:30pm; and Oct. 1, 12 and 15 at 2pm. For tickets and information call (312) 827-5600 or go to

    Running time is approximately two hours and 20 minutes, including intermission.

    Production images from Orphée available for download below.

    Use username lyric and password HD when downloading the Orphéevideo trailer below.

    Information about the musical score may be found here.

About Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric’s new season, go to You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1718 #LongLivePassion

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Orphée et Eurydice is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, and Staatsoper Hamburg.

New Lyric Opera coproduction of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice generously made possible by

The Monument Trust (UK), the Abbott Fund, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, the NIB Foundation, an Anonymous Donor, J.P. Morgan, The Anne and Burt Kaplan Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, and Liz Stiffel.

The Opening-Night Gala performance of Orphée et Eurydice is sponsored by Aon. The Opera Ball at the Hilton Chicago is sponsored by ITW and Northern Trust.

The opening-night performance of Orphée et Eurydice can be heard live locally on 98.7WFMT and globally on, beginning at 6:15pm.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts are generously sponsored by the The Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family, The Matthew and Kay Bucksbaum Family, and The John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Foundation.


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