Notes from the Underworld

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project description

The ancient tale of (im)mortal love between Orpheus and Eurydice has been told in countless versions. And no wonder, as it centres around some of the most fundamental human themes: love, art and death. The popular legend is based on an even older tale about Demeter who lost her daughter Persephone to Hades of the Underworld. In their honour, women in ancient Greece celebrated the Eleusinian Mysteries for three days, and men were not allowed to attend. These spectacular events included dance, song, clapping, calls and cries, all of which became central elements of the cultic search for Persephone.

Interweaving ancient, Icelandic and Alemannic legends and contemporary themes, the transdisciplinary, universal artist Erna Ómarsdóttir reinterprets the Orpheus mythos from the perspective of Eurydice. With its mixed cast of actors and opera singers from the Theater Freiburg ensemble and dancers from the Iceland Dance Company, the project investigates the metamorphosis that transformed the goddess Demeter into a famous lyre player and her daughter into a tragic bride who submissively follows her husband in utter devotion. Music plays a central role in the performance; the composition “Orphée” by Golden Globe winner Johann Jóhannsson will serve as the basis of the production, while Eurydice’s voice will be musically interpreted by the Oscar-winning composer Hildur Ingveldardóttir Guðnadóttir.

Stage direction and concept: Erna Ómarsdóttir
Music and composition: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Valdimar Jóhansson, Skúli Sverrisson
Stage and costume design: Gabriela Fridriksdóttir
Video design: Valdimar Jóhannsson
Text and translation: Bjarni Jónsson
Vocal coach: Sofia Jernberg

Theater Freiburg, Freiburg: Performances: 17 – 19 Dec. 2021; performances at Kampnagel / NORDWIND-Festival, Hamburg: 27 – 29 Jan. 2022


Eigenbetrieb Theater Freiburg

Bertoldsstr. 46
79098 Freiburg i.Br.
www.theater.freiburg.de (external link, opens in a new window)