Live Performance of Creative Work

Orphée aux Enfers

Jane Davidson

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music | Published : 2019

Abstract

Jacques Offenbach had long dreamed of creating a satirical 'opéra bouffon' based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus. With the lifting in 1858 of restrictive and somewhat bizarre government laws surrounding the conditions of public performance, he was finally able to pursue and fulfil this ambition with his beloved 'Théatre des Bouffes-Parisiens'. While its immediate reception was positive, it took a 'succès de scandale' in the form of a vitriolic review by prominent critic, Jules Janin, to really capture the public's attention. The extended controversy over this "profanation of holy and glorious antiquity" led to an opening run of over 200 performances in Paris alone. The libretto and musi..

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University of Melbourne Researchers