Orfeo ed Euridice (Christoph Willibald Gluck)

Opera in three acts
Live at the
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
A Co-Production of Landseer  and Monarda Arts / RM Arts in association with NOS and Channel 4


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 the 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. The German male alto, Jochen Kowalski, gives a virtuoso performance as the tormented Orfeo, with the young British soprano Gillian Webster as Euridice.


Available at Arthaus Musik (DVD)



Producer: Derek Bailey
Directed for Screen by: Hans Hulscher
Sound: John Middleton
Light: Peter Mumford
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
Running Time: 83 min
Picture Format: 4:3
Year of production: 1991


Creative Team


Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
Libretto: Pierre-Louis Moline, after Raniero de Calzabigi
Conductor: Hartmut Haenchen
Stage Director: Harry Kupfer
Chorus: The Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra: The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House


Orfeo: Jochen Kowalski
Euridice: Gillian Webster
Amor: Jeremy Budd