ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE – SYNOPSIS
Orpheus stands before Eurydice’s tomb, lost in grief. Coming to his senses, he resolves to rescue his lover from Hades. Amor comforts him, telling him that with love anything can be overcome and his Eurydice can be restored to him. Conditions are imposed. When leading Eurydice from the underworld, Orpheus must let go of her hand and not look upon her until they have reached the land of the living again.
Orpheus approaches Hades, where the Furies sing of Cerebus, the three-headed dog who guards the gates of Hell. The beauty of Orpheus’ singing elicits their compassion, and the Furies grant him safe passage. He arrives in Elysium and sings of the beauty that surrounds him but also of its emptiness, as he does not see his beloved. A chorus of heroines bring Eurydice to him and Orpheus, without looking at her, leads her quickly away.
On a path leading out of the underworld, Eurydice reproaches Orpheus for refusing to look upon her. She suggests that eternal death would have been preferable to his coldness toward her. Unable to bear her laments, Orpheus turns to look upon Eurydice, only to see her die. Orpheus is prevented from killing himself by Amor who, bringing Eurydice back to life, reunites the lovers.