Philip Armstrong

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 the first act of four is available to download.

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].