Cyprus performance of Orpheus & Euridice

Cyprus performance of Orpheus & Euridice

the Opera by Christoph Wililbald Gluck

The other day I was chatting with a visitor in front of the orchestra playing at the Limassol wine exhibition. “It’s nice having music playing for us,” he said. “It blends well with the wine.”

Indeed it does – music and wine! So it is unusual, but totally congruent to see the Cyprus Wine Museum in Erimi creating its Commandaria Chamber Orchestra. It was established in 2009.

This week on December 4th it is staging at 8pm in Larnaca’s Municipal Theatre (in co-operation with the Cyprus Opera Organisation and the National Opera of Bulgaria), a production of Christoph Wililbald Gluck’s “Orpheus and Euridice”. The Cyprus Wine Museum’s own director, Maestro Guy Francis will be conducting.

For those not familiar with Ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus was the son of Apollo and the muse Calliope. He was given a lyre by his father and learnt to play it so well that he charmed everyone who heard him play including the incredibly beautiful Euridice whom he happily married. One day a shepherd saw her and started chasing her. Running through the forest to escape the shepherd’s unwelcome advances, she was bitten by a snake and died.

Orpheus was distraught. Having a god as a father, he was able to pull some strings in celestial high places and was allowed to go down to the Hades underworld to see her again. His lyre-playing even softened Hades’ heart. The god allowed him to have Euridice follow him out of Hades and live in married bliss again – as long as he did not turn his head. Alas, they were almost out when, no longer hearing her footsteps, he obeyed an impulse to turn his head and Euridice was snatched back into the other world forever. It rather reminds one of the story of Lot and his wife. I guess the moral is – If a god tells you “I’ll do you a favour as long as you don’t turn your head round”, don’t!

Well the story served as inspiration to the Roman poets, Ovid and Virgil and in more Modern times to Gluck who made an opera out of it!

Cyprus in general and the Cyprus Wine Museum in particular, have a rich tradition of putting on cultural events such as these. It was only a couple of weeks ago on the 10th of November that the later hosted a Chamber Music Concert - Mediterranean Trio. It even participated in it via its Commandaria Orchestra.

If you like opera and can get yourself to Larnaka on the evening of the 4th December, do come to the event:

Larnaka Municipal Theatre

Thursday 4th December, 8 pm

For tickets phone:  +357 24 665 795 / +357 99 488 094