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L'Orfeo (1978)

| Music, Drama
This opera tells the fable of Orpheus, a demigod with a talent for music. When his bride Eurydice dies, he decides to seek her soul in the Underworld. However, things will not be so easier than he initially thinks.


Alessandro Striggio (libretto)




Credited cast:
Philippe Huttenlocher Philippe Huttenlocher ... Orfeo
Dietlinde Turban ... Euridice
Rachel Yakar Rachel Yakar ... Euridice (singing voice)
Trudeliese Schmidt Trudeliese Schmidt ... La Speranza, La Musica
Roland Hermann Roland Hermann ... Apollo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Francisco Araiza Francisco Araiza ... Pastor 2 / Spirito 1
Christian Boesch Christian Boesch ... Pastor 3 / Spirito 2
Suzanne Calabro Suzanne Calabro ... Ninfa
Jozsef Dene Jozsef Dene ... Pastor 4 / Spirito 3
Hans Franzen Hans Franzen ... Caronte
Werner Groschel Werner Groschel ... Pluton
Rudolf Hartmann Rudolf Hartmann ... Pastor 3 / Spirito 2 (singing voice) (as Rudolf A. Hartmann)
Peter Keller Peter Keller ... Pastor 1
Glenys Linos Glenys Linos ... Proserpina


Orpheus is a demigod, son of Apollo (god of Music) and Calliope, muse of Poetry and one of the nine muses, daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne, goddess of Memory. Orpheus has a talent for music and was able to enchant all beings, including stones, when he played his lyre or sang. Falling in love with the nymph Eurydice, he marries her but she dies suddenly, a snake bite. Tormented by pain, the young demigod decides to seek her soul in the Underworld. There, and after some incidents with the boatman Charon, who passes the souls of the dead across the River Lethe, he manages to convince Proserpina and her husband, Pluto, the god of the dead, to return to him the soul of Eurydice. However, one condition is established: Orpheus cannot look at her until their exit of the Underworld, or he will lose her forever. Orpheus agrees, but he will be unable to fulfill this rule and ends up loosing her near the end of the tunnel who lead to our world. Back in home, Orpheus is devastated by sorrow and... Written by Filipe Manuel Neto (Portugal)

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Music | Drama





Also Known As:

Orpheus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

UNITEL See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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User Reviews

The Standard for this most wonderful and timeless opera
4 April 2007 | by moore2772See all my reviews

This is the Orfeo that sets the standard for all the more recent versions. It is the best filmed by far. Excellent camera work and superior sound- What you'd expect from DGG. Singing and original instrument performances are amazing, especially considering this was 1978. The viewer is brought into the action, as are the duke and duchess of Mantua, the townspeople, and Monteverdi himself. The opera itself is spellbinding, and has endured a full 400 years- and for very good reason! There are no tricks or cute "modern" sets, costumes, etc. This is a true revival with unique perspectives. The scenery and costumes are authentic and very beautiful. This is a very, very special DVD, and can be purchased as a box set with the other two extant Monteverdi operas.

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