December 7, 2021

MSM Graduate Opera Theatre presents Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld
Dec 9 to 12

Stephanie Havey, the director of MSM’s production of composer Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld gives us an inside look at the four performances taking place at MSM from December 9 to 12

Tell us about Orpheus in the Underworld.

Orpheus in the Underworld is a comic opera written by Jacques Offenbach in the 1850s.  Our production is performed in English and our translation is written by Buck Ross.

What is special about the MSM production?

Of all the different interpretations of the Orpheus myth taking place in New York this fall, this version is unique because of its focus on the role of public opinion and societal expectations in dictating human behavior (and/or godly behavior in this case).

The characters begin their journey behaving out of fear of judgment by society.  Eventually they discover that trying to live up to a “picture perfect” ideal is impossible. Their gilded picture frames become a type of prison. The gods and mortals alike escape to the underworld to find freedom and acceptance. Our production celebrates acceptance, inclusivity, and individuality.

Many of the costumes are featured in the artwork for the production

What role do the costumes and set designs play in the production?

The set was designed by Michael Lewis. The costumes are designed by Sara Jean Tosetti. Many of Sara’s designs can be found on the show poster. Amith Chandrashaker is the lighting designer.

Our production portrays earth as an influencer’s playground. Artificial colors and textures form the perfect backdrop for social media posts. Olympus is presented as a traditional approach to Western European patriarchal perfection. The gods appear as idyllic portraits and statues in a gilded museum.

Finally, the Underworld frees the gods and mortals from societal expectations and moral obligations. Each character discovers their own destiny at this underground party.

What is notable about Offenbach’s music?

The music is approachable, there is a lovely interaction between the orchestra and the singers, and the music mimics the levity and humor in the libretto.

MSM Opera Theatre:
Orpheus in the Underworld

DEC 9–11 | THURS–SAT
7:30 PM

DEC 12 | SUN
2:30 PM

George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76), Conductor
Stephanie Havey, Director

Music by Jacques Offenbach
English Translation by Buck Ross

Sung in English with English supertitles

$30 Adults, $15 Seniors and (non-MSM) Students

Neidorff-Karpati Hall
130 Claremont Ave
New York, NY 10027

SLIDE SHOW (use arrows or SWIPE IMAGES WITH CURSOR): MSM Graduate Opera Theatre presents Orpheus in the Underworld.

“The gods and mortals alike escape to the underworld to find freedom and acceptance. Our production celebrates acceptance, inclusivity, and individuality.”

Director

    Email This Page
    Email Message

    Page Reference
    (will be sent in email)