Orpheus in the Underworld
Saturday, July 16 – Show: 7:00 PM
Sunday, July 17 – Show: 4:00 PM
67-1186 Lindsey Rd
Waimea, HI 96743
(808) 885-6868 KAHILU THEATRE
$28, $38, 48 Purchase tickets at KahiluTheatre.org
Orpheus in the Underworld
Beginning Saturday, July 16, the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) will present Offenbach’s famous operetta, Orpheus in the Underworld, in residence at Kahilu Theatre.
Orpheus in the Underworld runs for two performances at Kahilu Theatre on Saturday, July 16 at 7 pm and Sunday, July 17 at 4 pm. The production features the work of two casts and a professional orchestra under the baton of Maestro Paul Floyd. HPAF Assistant Artistic Director Scott Skiba serves as both stage director and choreographer. A special “Behind the Curtain” event will occur one hour before the Sunday matinee, beginning at 3 pm, in the Simperman Gallery. The team of Orpheus in the Underworld will engage in intimate pre-show discussion surrounding the process of bringing the piece to life. All ticket holders are invited to attend.
Unlike the tragic tale of love and loss that many of us know, in this version, Orpheus is, in fact, glad to be rid of his deceased wife, who has been having an affair with Pluto. When Eurydice ends up in the underworld, Public Opinion forces the reluctant Orpheus to rescue his wife. Jupiter states Orpheus can retrieve Eurydice from the underworld so long as he does not turn to look back at her. On their way out, however, Jupiter (who has since fallen in love with Eurydice) lets loose a lightning bolt, causing Orpheus to jump and look back. As a result, Eurydice vanishes back into the underworld, and everyone (except Public Opinion) is thrilled with the result.
Longtime HPAF faculty member Paul Floyd serves as the music director and conductor for the production. “In this time of political turmoil, what better show could HPAF present than one that pits Public Opinion against the Powers that Be? No one is safe from its satirical punch,” says Floyd. “I’m overjoyed to be working on a fast-paced comedy that sparkles with fun! Orpheus was Offenbach’s first full-length operetta and has been a crowd pleaser ever since. The Can-Can (or infernal galop as the composer called it) is irresistible! Just as Offenbach liked to quote other pieces in his operettas, the Can-Can is found in works ranging from Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals—remember those slow tortoises!—to the Looney Tune cartoons of today. So come to HPAF’s Orpheus in the Underworld and leave with your toes tapping and a big kick in your step!”