New York, NY (November 30, 2021)—Eurydice by Matthew Aucoin—the youngest composer to have a Metropolitan Opera premiere since 1938—reimagines the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus from Eurydice’s point of view. The opera features a libretto by multi–award-winning playwright and author Sarah Ruhl, who adapted her acclaimed 2003 play. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Tony Award–winning director Mary Zimmerman’s evocative new staging. Soprano Erin Morley headlines the opera in the title role, starring opposite baritone Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus. Countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński is Orpheus’s otherworldly alter ego, bass-baritone Nathan Berg is Eurydice’s father, and tenor Barry Banks is Hades, the menacing ruler of the Underworld. Soprano Renée Fleming hosts the live cinema transmission.
The ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, who attempts to harness the power of music to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld, has inspired composers since opera’s earliest days. Brilliant American composer Matthew Aucoin now carries that tradition into the 21st century with a captivating new take on the story—a product of the Met’s commissioning program. With a libretto by Sarah Ruhl, adapted from her acclaimed 2003 play, the opera reimagines the familiar tale from Eurydice’s point of view. Yannick Nézet-Séguin oversees the momentous Met premiere from the podium, leading Aucoin’s evocative music and an immersive new staging by Mary Zimmerman. Soprano Erin Morley sings the title role, opposite baritone Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński as his otherworldly alter-ego. Bass-baritone Nathan Berg is Eurydice’s father and fellow resident of the underworld, with tenor Barry Banks as Hades himself.
A beguiling tour of the underworld and an arresting tour de force ... Soprano Erin Morley was superb ... Her voice is lithe, lean and luminous ... Eurydice gives us much to look forward to.”
—The Washington Post
“Matthew Aucoin is a musical intellect of staggering facility ... A font of musical ideas ... It’s enjoyable to hear the Met Orchestra tackle the brilliant score under Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s leadership. Morley sings Eurydice beautifully, with lovely high notes, and Joshua Hopkins is a vigorous Orpheus.”
“Tackles one of opera’s foundational stories and finds something new to say about it.... Morley’s vibrant soprano encompassed Eurydice’s naiveté, playfulness and growing understanding ... Nézet-Séguin artfully made the score’s percussive extremes expressive.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Expertly wrought, finely produced, and performed with genuine show-biz verve ... A composer with vocal music in his bones. Aucoin’s command of the genre is dazzling ... For a good time, knock at the gates of Hell.”
—Vulture / New York magazine
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Erin Morley, Eurydice (soprano); Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joshua Hopkins, Orpheus (baritone); Hometown: Petawawa, Canada
Jakub Józef Orliński, Orpheus’s Double (countertenor); Hometown: Warsaw, Poland
Nathan Berg, Father (bass-baritone): Hometown: Saskatchewan, Canada
Barry Banks, Hades (tenor); Hometown: Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom