Take a light-hearted Underworld romp

The Moores School of Music will host Orpheus In the Underworld at 7:30 p.m. from today through Monday.

Director Buck Ross said Orpheus is different from other operas because "it is just one of the funniest operas out there."

"This is a great opera to start off the season and get audience members to keep coming to the shows. This show is a lot of fun, a big crowd-pleaser, and keeps the audience engaged. It’s a great first opera for people who might think opera is ‘boring,’" he said.

The show will be sung in English with English subtitles.

The opera is a satire of the story of Orpheus, the famous musician of Greek mythology.

In this version, Orpheus travels to a Las-Vegas-like town called Hell so he can rescue his dead wife.

In the opera, Pluto, the god of the Underworld, agrees to give her back with one condition: he can lead her back to Earth, but he cannot look back to see her or she will die again.

Orpheus and his wife Eurydice are enemies, as Eurydice had an affair with Pluto.

Orpheus is forced by a character named Public Opinion to save his wife.

Public Opinion takes him to Mount Olympus to receive assistance from the gods.

However, Mount Olympus is boring so all the gods accompany Orpheus to hell.

The show stars vocal performance junior Katherine Dugat and music graduate student alto Laura Riggs as Public Opinion. Vocal performance sophomore Adam Frandsen and applied voice graduate student Andrew Peck share the title role of Orpheus.

Orpheus’ wife, Eurydice, will be played by applied voice graduate student soprano Kelly Waguespack and vocal and opera performance graduate student Lisa Borik.

Voice graduate student Jack Beetle and vocal performance graduate student Steve Uliana will share the role of Pluto.

Vocal performance graduate student baritone Andrew Papas and vocal performance graduate student Jeffrey Goble will play Jupiter.

"This will be a very entertaining show for all types of people," music education, vocal performance senior and Orpheus chorus member Briana Kruse said.

The show will also feature the "can-can" done by members of the Cougar Dolls.

The dance originated in opera, but has been used in other popular operas and even movies, such as Moulin Rouge.

There will be a 45-minute pre-show lecture conducted by Ross.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for UH students, faculty, staff and seniors. On Sunday the show will be matinee only and performed at 2 p.m.

"Even those who think they know the classical myth of Orpheus will be surprised by this version of the story. It gets a little rowdy, to say the least. I won’t say rated R, but perhaps pushing it," applied music senior Maxim Bitner said.

Leave a Comment