Orphée et Eurydice | Lyric Opera House | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Lauren Snouffe, Andriana Chuchman, and Dmitry Korchak

Lauren Snouffe, Andriana Chuchman, and Dmitry Korchak

Todd Rosenberg Photography

When: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Oct. 15 2017
Price: $20-$299
Orphée et Eurydice, Lyric Opera’s first-ever collaboration with the Joffrey Ballet, opened last weekend at a significant moment for both companies—a day after the announcement that beginning in the fall of 2020, all Joffrey season performances will take place on the Lyric stage. Given that, it would be nice to be able to report that this production of the French version of Gluck’s opera about the mythic musician who braves hell to retrieve his dead wife—which employs the full Joffrey troupe—is a total success rather than the partially terrific experience it turned out to be. Performances by all three vocal leads, but especially by tenor Dmitry Kolchak, as Orphée, are superb. (Sopranos Andrianna Chuchman and Lauren Snouffer are Eurydice and Amour.) So is the Lyric Opera Chorus, though we don’t get to see them until they come out to take a bow. Director-designer-choreographer John Neumeier’s updated but earnestly melodramatic take on the 18th-century libretto, on the other hand, teeters at the edge of unintended camp—and occasionally falls right in. It doesn't help that in the first two acts he's working with a sometimes soporific (if lovely) score. In the final act, when the music pushes into glorious high gear, the whole thing's pretty much redeemed, although—spoiler alert—Neumeier's Eurydice lives on only in the choreography she inspires. —Deanna Isaacs

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