Orpheus Series

In our 2019/20 season, we have took an unprecedented step and programmed four Orpheus operas.

They were, Orpheus and Eurydice, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Mask of Orpheus and Orphée.


What is the Orpheus Myth?

How far would you go to rescue the one you love?

Orpheus loved Eurydice so deeply that when she suddenly died from a snake bite (however that may be interpreted), he followed her to the Underworld – be that Hell, his dreams, or simply looking within himself.

There he sang so beautifully for the gods that he won the right to bring her back. But there was a condition: on the return journey, Orpheus must not look back at Eurydice but trust that she is behind him.

Whether it’s his internal insecurity or mistrust, or her pain and confusion at his refusal to look at her, Orpheus turns around and loses her forever.

Read about the Orpheus myth in opera


Orpheus and Eurydice by Peter Paul Rubens


A message from ENO Artistic Consultant Daniel Kramer

The Orpheus myth is the most composed story in the history of music. It is the myth of music’s birth from love, loss, reunion, hope, fear and transformation – many of the key themes of classical music to this day.

We hope our four Orpheus productions, distinct and self-contained yet also interrelated through theme and image, will inspire us all.

Whether you want a moving tragedy, a meditation on grief and loss, a transporting sensory experience, or just an entertaining night out, ENO is proud to offer something for everybody in our renowned and inimitable style.

I’d like to thank everyone who made this Orpheus Series possible, and I hope you will join us for many adventurous evenings along the way.