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Madrid, Spain (Orphée)

September 25

More info and tickets here

The myth of Orpheus is, above all, the translation to a symbolic language of mourning after the death of a loved one: denial, negotiation and acceptance find their way of expression through the pointless endeavour of the central character to rescue Eurídice from the kingdom of Hades and of his failed pact with the divinities of the underworld. Jean Cocteau, author of the cinematographic script which is the inspiration for this opera, directed the film Orphée (1950) after losing his lover, Raymond Radiguet, who was only 20 years old. His exploration of the myth –   with allusion to Gluck’s Orfeo  – is articulated as “ the successive deaths through which a poet must pass before he is changed into oneself” 

The loss of his own partner, designer and multimedia artist Candy Jernigan,  also inspired  Philip Glass to undertake this double tribute  for what would become the first title in a trilogy of chamber operas based on Cocteau – the others are La Belle et la Bête  and Les Enfants terribles  –  which are totally independent of each other. First seen in 1993, the composer transforms the death of the young poet Cégeste into the point of departure and return of a unique descent to the underworld. 

Chamber opera in two acts 

Music by Philip Glass (1937)

Libretto by Philip Glass, based on the homonymous film (1950) by Jean Cocteau

Premiere at the American Repertory Theatre of Cambridge (Massachusetts), 14 may 1993

Season premiere at the Teatro Real

New production of the Teatro Real and Teatros del Canal

Artistic team

Musical Conductor | Jordi Francés

Stage Director | Rafael R. Villalobos

Stage Designer | Emanuele Sinisi

Light Designer | Irene Cantero 

Movement | Javier Pérez


The princess | María Rey-Joly – 21, 22, 24, 25 sep

                      Isabella Guadí – 23 sep

Eurídice | Sylvia Schwartz – 21, 22, 24, 25 sep

                 Natalia Labourdette – 23 sep

Heurtebise | Mikeldi Atxalandabaso – 21, 22, 24, 25 sep

                    Juan Antonio Sanabria – 23 sep

Orfeo | Edward Nelson

Aglaonice | Karina Demurova 

Cégeste | Pablo García-López – 21, 22, 24, 25 sep

                Emmanuel Faraldo – 23 sep

The journalist / Glazier | Emmanuel Faraldo – 21, 22, 24, 25 sep

                                    Pablo García-López – 23 sep

The poet | Manuel Fuentes

The judge | David Sánchez 

Titular Orchestra of Teatro Real


September 25


Teatro Real, Pl. de Isabel II, s/n, 28013 Madrid, Spain