Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydiceis a story that I find great resonance in. It’s a story of love, loss, grief, redemption and loss again. I think the reason why it’s lasted so powerfully, both in its classical form and then its multiple spin-off stories across media, is because it’s a story of almost every love.
Opera Queensland’s Orpheus & Eurydice
It has its trials and sacrifices. Being in love with someone, essentially, it’s two people giving each other a self-destruct button and saying, “please don’t press this button”. To be in love is to be vulnerable, and there’s a very visceral sense of that in this opera.
Personally, I’ve only seen this story done in a particular mood, which is very much the mood of loss and I don’t get it, it’s not how I hear the music. I think Gluck has an unfair reputation of being slightly obscure or dull and it’s nonsense. I think the music is full of life. The first thing you hear in the opera is this pulse, almost like a heartbeat, so the piece for me is very much about desire, about cellular craving, and I want to...