The Orphic Mysteries, an opera in 4 acts
The Orphic Mysteries [Die Orphische Geheimnisse] is an opera by Philip Armstrong in 4 acts marking the centenary in 2019 of the Weimar Constitution and thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The music is scored for lyric soprano (Eurydice), dramatic soprano (Euterpe), mezzo-soprano (Calliope/Persephone), tenor (Orpheus), baritone (Aristaeus/Charon) bass (Apollo/Pluto), chorus SATB, adolescent dancers, and orchestra. The score of each of the four acts is available to download below.
The Orphic Mysteries Act 1: The wedding of Orpheus and Eurydice, the score (pdf)
The Orphic Mysteries Act 2: The death of Eurydice, the score (pdf)
The Orphic Mysteries Act 3: Orpheus seeks to retrieve Eurydice from the underworld, the score (pdf)
The Orphic Mysteries Act 4: The Orphic Oracles, the score (pdf)
The Synopsis of each act is associated with a historical analogy from German history in the era between 1919 and 2019. Act 1: The wedding of Orpheus and Eurydice [The establishment of the Weimar Republic and of constitutional democracy]. Act 2: The death of Eurydice [The demise of democracy and the rise to power of National Socialism]. Act 3: Orpheus seeks to retrieve Eurydice from the underworld [The German Democratic Republic seeks to establish a Marxist-Leninist utopia but resorts to coercion and repression]. Act 4: The Orphic Oracles [Unification].
Image: Jean-Baptiste-Camille-Corot, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld” (Wikimedia Commons).