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Eine Geschichte in zwei Akten und sechs Szenen von Edward Bond
Edition: Matériel d'exécution

Détails du produit


Orpheus dances with country folk in front of the statue of Apollo at the Spring festival. With their bodies, their hands and feet and simple percussion instruments they make stamping, mechanical music. A storm breaks out: wild animals appear and the people are afraid. Orpheus kills an animal. The people stand, numb with fright, and listen to a new music – the music of Apollo. Apollo appears and hands Orpheus a lyre, which he begins to play. The elements, the people and the wild animals grow calm: the dance begins anew, this time to the music of Orpheus’s lyre. In the second scene the world has altered, the people are divided into the rich and the poor. The rich worship their idol, a gilded statue of Apollo. During the dance of the rich a poor man steals some of this gold; violence breaks out during which Eurydice is killed. The guardians of the dead appear, invisible to everyone and want to take Eurydice to the underworld. Orpheus, however, plays music that awakens Eurydice from death – to the joy of the people – but the guardians of the dead warn Orpheus to take revenge before they return to hell. The girls and Eurydice dance in gratitude before Apollo. The guardians of the dead return and take Eurydice with them. Orpheus continues to play his lyre, full of hope, but becomes aware that this time, the power of music will not help bring his beloved back from the dead. Against the advice of the people and against Apollo’s prohibition he enters the underworld to rescue Eurydice. Three judges keep watch over the Styx, which separates the world of the living from the realm of the dead. Orpheus can see the dead, Eurydice among them. They stand trembling, like spirits. The judges do not want to allow him to cross the Styx but he soothes them with his music. Even the dead are transformed; they do not in fact come back to life but embrace each other and become calm. Hades and Persephone, rulers of the underworld, appear. Enraged, they grasp their loss of power and bring Eurydice to Orpheus in order not to lose more control over the dead. The couple are accompanied by guards, who are deaf. The dead plead with Orpheus not to abandon them, but he crosses the Styx with Eurydice. The dead return to their stupor, Hades and Persephone have regained their power. The couple have almost reached the exit from hell; there, Apollo and his companions are waiting for their return. They exude an unearthly glow which blinds Orpheus. He turns his head to shield himself from the divine light and looks at Eurydice who is immediately separated from him by the guards and dragged back into the underworld. Orpheus is driven out of the gates of hell; in a final gesture of resistance he plays his lyre, but the sound grows softer and weaker and finally falls silent. Orpheus collapses in despair. In his rage and his revolt against fate and against the god Apollo, Orpheus is not to be tamed. Chaos breaks out, nature and the elements once more turn against mankind. Apollo appears and calms the uproar: only Orpheus continues his dance of rage. He does not hear Apollo’s music and will not be comforted by the god. He dances to his own music, which has become foreign to the god and remote from him, until, in his anger, he breaks his lute. Apollo turns aside. Orpheus begins to play on his broken lute – a new music to the sounds of which the dead leave hell and, transformed, full of quiet, happiness and peace, dance like the children. Eurydice is amongst them, united with Orpheus in the dance. 

"In this work Edward Bond’s vision of the beauty and the horror of living are brought together in a drama for all mankind. Orpheus provokes, unmasks and disobeys the Gods through his singing, and thereby frees man from the fear of death, from the loss of love, and from mortality. An important impetus to this composition after repeated and particularly intense experiences of hearing Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” over many years was given in 1977 by the 2nd Cantiere in Montepulciano. At this Cantiere, Franco Serpa, an expert on ancient Greece, gave an impressive lecture on aspects of the Orphic tradition and told the listeners how the ideas and images of this tradition still effect the world of our imagination today, how they play a decisive role in our thoughts and feelings, and to what a large extent they form part of our culture. Each of the “Arias of Orpheus” begins with the sound of the guitar. It is the clanging and whimpering sounds of the nerve fibres, kaleidoscopic colouring, darkness, shades, silver, weping, hollow cries like those of nocturnal animals and the echoing of history that move me when I hear a guitar play."

Orchestral Cast

2 (1. auch Picc. u. Altfl., 2. auch Picc. u. Bassfl. mit Verstärker) · 3 (1. auch Ob. d'am., 2. auch Engl. Hr., 3. auch Heckelphon) · 2 (1. auch Es-Klar., 2. auch Bassklar. u. Kb.-Klar.) · Sopransax. (auch Altsax., Tenorsax., Baritonsax. u. Bassklar.) · 2 (auch Kfg.) - 6 · 3 · 3 · 1 - S. (I: 4 P. · Crot. · gr. Tr. · kl. Tr. · Clav. · Loo-jon · Handgl. · Röhrengl.; II: 5 Trgl. · Crot. · 4 hg. Beck. · 3 Tamt. · 2 Metallplatten · Flex. · Guiro · Ratsche · Handgl.; III: Vibr. · 5 Kuhgl. · Handgl. · Tamb. · kl. Tr. · Tomt. · Boo-bams · Sistrum · Windmasch.; IV: Glsp. · Marimba · Handgl. · Tomt. · Tempelbl. · Lotosfl.) (4 Spieler) - Git. · Hfe. · Cel. · Cemb. · Klav. · Org. - Str. (9 · 0 · 4 · 4 · 3) -
Auf der Bühne (von Tänzern gespielt): 3 Blfl. - S. (Crot. · Sistrum · Hyoshigi · Kast. · Sakefass [od. Darabukka] · tib. Rasseltr. · Spielzeugpfeifen · Vogellockrufe · Flex.) -
Hinter der Bühne: S. (2 kl. hg. Beck. · 3 Tamt. · Rührtr. · 2 Kirchengl.) -
Unter der Bühne: S. (3 Tamt. [mit Kontaktmikr.] · Rührtr. · Donnerblech · Nebelhorn)


Erster Akt:
Erste Szene: I Frühlingsfest
II Der Sturm
III Apollo
IV Orpheus' erste Arie
V Zwischenspiel
Zweite Szene: VI Danza generale
VII Tumult-Szene
VIII Die tote Eurydike
IX Klagelied, Orpheus' zweite Arie
X Zwischenspiel  
Dritte Szene: XI Drei Tänze
XII Pas d'action
XIII Disput zwischen Orpheus und Apollo

Zweiter Akt:
Vierte Szene: XIV Der Styx
XV Orpheus' dritte Arie
XVI Persephone und Hades
XVII Zwischenspiel
Fünfte Szene: XVIII Die Rückkehr aus der Hölle
Sechste Szene: XIX Orpheus' Wahnsinn
XX Sarabande
XXI Finale 

Programmation des personnes

Orpheus - Eurydike - Persephone - Hades - Apollo - Ballettkorps: 3 Richter, Hauptwächter, Wärter, Totenwächter, Landleute, Wahnsinnige, arme Leute, verkrüppelte und rasende Menschen, reiche Leute, Mädchen, Frauen, Männer, die Toten, Orpheus' Freunde, Monstren, Tiere

Plus d'infos

Eine Geschichte in zwei Akten und sechs Szenen von Edward Bond
Matériel d'exécution
Maison d'édition:
Schott Music
Year of composition:
110 ′
17 mars 1979 · Stuttgart (D)
Württembergische Staatsoper
Musikalische Leitung: Woldemar Nelsson
Kostüme: Joachim Herzog · Bühnenbild: Axel Manthey · Choreographie: William Forsythe
Travaux commandés :
Auftragswerk des Württembergischen Staatstheaters Stuttgart

Détails techniques

Numéro du produit:
LS 2080-01


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  • Orpheus
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    30 septembre 2012 | Kassel (Allemagne) , Staatstheater
  • Orpheus
    Chef d'orchestre: Patrik Ringborg
    21 septembre 2012 | Kassel (Allemagne) , Staatstheater
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