Orfeo ed Euridice

Chattanooga Symphony and Opera
September 2005

The chance to stage a new production of this score comes with many choices. We selected the Italian version with much of the 1772 music that had been composed for Paris (Dance of the Furies, Aria for Eurydice). We were also looking for an economical way to tell the story, so Scott Leathers and I created a journey based on Dante's Inferno, visualizing the "gate of hell" complete with it's inscription "Abandon Hope all ye who enter here" and the various rings as Orfeo journeys towards the Elysian fields. Costumes were created by the ballet and a variety of mid 18th-century clothes from A.T. Jones to project the formality of the score and the legendary quality of the myth. Chattanooga Ballet provided the dancers and choreography to complement the Symphony and Opera — making this a completely home-grown production.