Orpheus and Eurydice
Opera was born during the Renaissance as an attempt to recreate the experience of an ancient Greek play as it would have been performed in the Theater of Dionysus in Athens. In this episode, Marc Eliot Stein and Lisa Geraghty talk about the greatest of several operas about one particular Greek myth: "Orfeo ed Euridice" by Christoph Willibald Gluck, which tells the story of the musician Orpheus's descent into the Underworld to retrieve his beloved wife Eurydice back from the dead. We also talk about Charlie Daniels Band, Arcade Fire, "Black Orpheus", Rainer Maria Rilke and Jacques Offenbach's wild satire "Orphee aux Enfers", a French comic opera that twisted Gluck's masterpiece into something entirely different. A refreshing descent into the joys of early classical opera!