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Great Performances to air Lyric’s Orphée et Eurydice

PBS will feature Lyric’s "Orphee et Eurydice" on Great Performances.The show will feature a new production created by legendary choreographer John Neumeier, featuring Joffrey Ballet, the Lyric Opera Orchestra & Chorus, conducted by Harry Bicket, and starring Dmitry Korchak, Andriana Chuchman, and Lauren Snouffer.

WNET and Thirteen selected the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s premiere production of the 1774 Paris version of Gluck's "Orphee et Eurydice" to be a part of the series.
Members of the WNET team traveled to Chicago to film "Orphee et Eurydice" at the Lyric Opera House. The broadcast will air in 2018.

Now in its 45th season,  PBS’s Great Performers has captured some of the best live performances for national broadcast. The live production will be directed by Matthew Diamond, who directed NBC’s televised live production of "The Wiz" , and the world-premiere of " Bel Canto-the Opera", will direct the television presentation of "Orphee et Eurydice collaborating with the award-winning production team from WNET and Great Performances executive producer David Horn.

One of the most influential works in the history of opera, Orfeo ed Eurydice (1762) – last seen at the Lyric Opera House in 2006 in its original Italian version – was revised significantly by composer Christoph Willibald Gluck for the Paris Opera in 1774. This version, Orphée et Eurydice, altered the role of Orpheus from alto castrato to high tenor, and added a significant amount of ballet music to the score (including two celebrated scenes, the “Dance of the Furies” and the “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”).

Familiar from Greek myths, the plot centers on the poet-musician Orphée (Dmitry Korchak), 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.

Dance is central to the storytelling in this new production: Orphée is a modern-day choreographer, his Eurydice a prima ballerina, and Amour is the choreographer’s assistant. Dancers fill the stage throughout this version of the opera.
Integral to the new production is the participation of The Joffrey Ballet in the highly acclaimed company’s first performances with Lyric Opera House. The opera is sung in French, with English translations above the stage for the live audience and onscreen for the broadcast audience.

The renowned English conductor Harry Bicket conducts the new Lyric production, which is directed and choreographed by John Neumeier, who also designed the sets, costumes, and lighting. Heinrich Tröger is associate set designer, lighting realization is by Chris Maravich, Michael Black is chorus master, and August Tye is Lyric’s ballet mistress.

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