Orpheus in the Underworld
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company's Production of

Orpheus in the Underworld - Fall 2017

October 27 to November 19, 2017

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present Jacques Offenbach’s  Orpheus in the Underworld, from October 27th through November 19th of 2017.

This production of Orpheus in the Underworld will be directed by Lesley Hendrickson, with Music Direction by Marina Liadova.

Gilbert knew and liked the Offenbach operettas and stated that he hoped to emulate his work, but in a more distinctly British style.  Gilbert was particularly adamant that his plots and staging would allow any Englishman to feel comfortable bringing his wife and daughters to see the shows.  Offenbach’s libretti, after all, were the very definition of “too French!”  Offenbach and his various librettists share Gilbert’s interest in topical satire and character-based humor.  And both liked to see pretty girls on stage — though Gilbert’s chorus ladies were costumed rather more discreetly.

This hilarious, satiric retelling of the Orpheus legend opens on earth.  Orpheus is annoyed with his wife, Eurydice, for cheating on him, as he has long cheated on her.  When she is abducted by her lover, Pluto, and carried off to the underworld, Orpheus is delighted!  He is forced, however, by Public Opinion to visit Mount Olympus to ask for the gods’ help in getting her back.  Everyone ends up in the underworld, but while Pluto, Jupiter and Orpheus are all competing for Eurydice, the rest of gods are there for the party!  As Eurydice sings, “Pleasure is for all time!”

Orpheus in the Underworld was first performed in 1858, and reached London in 1865.  Its success was one of the inspirations for the creation of a home-grown English operetta, and for Richard D’Oyly Carte’s pairing of Gilbert and Sullivan to accomplish it.  Orpheus in the Underworld was revised in 1874 to the full four-act version with chorus, and achieved even greater popularity.  The English adaptation we are using was created for the 1985 English National Opera production.

The Cast of Orpheus in the Underworld

The cast for this production of Orpheus in the Underworld includes:

Orpheus Jim Ahrens
Eurydice Nelle June Anderson / Jennifer LeDoux
Aristaeus / Pluto Philip Eschweiler
Public Opinion Lara Trujillo
Jupiter Wally Benbenek
Juno Alyssa Burdick
Mars Ryan Johnson
Venus Victoria Valencour
Mercury Eric Mellum
Diana Claudia Finsaas
Dr. Morpheus / John Styx Thore Dosdall
Cupid Maggie Burr
   
Judge Joe Allen
Judge / Bacchus Christopher Michela
Judge Anthony Rohr
   
Love Police Anna Maher
Love Police Sarah Mehle
Love Police Cassie Utt
   
Chorus  
   
Mary Mescher-Benbenek Doug Freeman
Clyde Gerber Ron Giroux
Taylor Ann Grand Eleanor R. Gustafson
Stephen Hage Kaitlin Klemencic
Julia Knoll Jerry Kurek
Blanka Melbostad Eric Pasternack
Rhea Sullivan  
   
Children  
   
Mary Bair Liam Hage
Rhianwyn Hage  
   

Jennifer LeDoux as Eurydice and
Nelle June Anderson as Eurydice
Jim Ahrens as Orpheus

The performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.

Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 p.m.  The Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 p.m.  For a more detailed performance calendar, visit our Tickets page.

If you would like to be notified about when to order tickets, we invite you to add your name to our mailing list. This way, we will know how to contact you!  We never sell our mailing list to other parties.

An excellent internet resource for information about Orpheus in the Underworld:

Wikipedia – Orpheus in the Underworld

Orpheus in the Underworld Show Poster

Show Poster

Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson

“Conduct such is truly shocking!”

—Vittoria
The Gondoliers