Ricky Ian Gordon
Orpheus and Euridice


Conceived and performed between 2008 and 2013 around an IN three large swimming pools: Long Beach Belmont Olympic Pool in 2008 & 2010. Chicago Eckhart Park Natatorium in November  2013 and Chicago Welles Park Pool in December 2013. 

Mitisek: "If the role of myth is to elaborate an unbearable truth so frequently and varied that its burden is made bearable, it is no wonder that the story of Orpheus exists in a multitude of retellings.

My initial inspiration for the location was the role that the element of water plays in this myth. Orpheus crosses the River Styx - the river of hate, one of the five rivers in Greek mythology that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead - to find his lost love. The metaphor of  water takes many forms, a place for a pool party, a meadow for love, a road into the underworld, and the source of life and death".



Mitisek used the pool effectively. Palmer and Futral or their surrogates glided cautiously, sometimes magically, hither and thither across the water in a small boat. Mace fell poignantly backward into the water at Euridice's final demise. Mirrored in its surface were Alan E. Muraoka's white Grecian-style statues, which effectively conjured up the realm of the dead.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED The River Styx has come to West Town ...so brilliantly conceived and so beautifully executed that it transcends the composer-lyricist's often overly simple 55-minute song cycle and takes its poolside audience back to the depths and richness of the original myth of love, death and longing on either side of that dreaded waterway.

Andrew Patner Chicago Sun-Times

★★★★...based on an inspired idea of general director Andreas Mitisek...brilliantly carried out, in a sparing staging and production design by Mitisek that are pure theatrical magic.

John von Rhein Chicago Tribune


Long Beach Opera  2008  2010 

World Premiere of Newly Commissioned Version
Choreography: Ken Roht
Costumes: Marcy Froehlich
Videography: John J. Flynn
Scenery Designer: Alan Muraoka
Lighting Designer: Dan Weingarten

Euridice: Elizabeth Futral
Orpheus: Todd Palmer

Chicago Opera Theater  2013 

Director, Set & Costume Designer: Andreas Mitisek
Conductor: Stephan Hargreaves
Lighting Designer: David Lee Bradke
Euridice (Soprano): Valerie Vinzant
Orpheus (Clarinet): Todd Palmer


Long Beach Opera 2008 2010

Orpheus and Euridice at Belmont Plaza Pool Long Beach
Todd Palmer - Orpheus, Elizabeth Futral - Euridice
Euridice, Underworld
Euridice, Orpheus 1,2

Photographer: Kip I. Polakoff, Alan Muraoka

Chicago Opera Theater 2013

Todd Palmer - Orpheus
Valerie Vinzant - Euridice
Euridice dying
Valerie Vinzant - Euridice
Orpheus 1, 2
Orpheus-1-2, Euridice 2
Euridice dying
Euridice, Underworld
Orpheus 1,2