Opera Scotland

Orphée aux Enfers 1967Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Orpheus in the Underworld

This lively and irreverent staging, that first opened in London on 17 May 1960, stayed in the Sadler's Wells repertoire for a couple of decades and was regularly taken on tour during that time. While Orpheus and Eurydice were played by several singers over the years, Eric Shilling must have performed the role of Jupiter dozens of times. The character of Public Opinion in the French original is here renamed as Calliope, mother of Orpheus, and therefore a source of further friction with Eurydice. The production also created named roles for nearly every member of the chorus - a substantially longer cast list than the original.

It was one of a group of three Offenbach productions which were recorded in highlight form by EMI and which were reissued on CD.


Sadler's Wells Opera's Glasgow Season - 1967

Sadler's Wells Opera only came to Glasgow in October 1967, but the four week stay was an unusually long one. They gave three performances of a brand new production of The Magic Flute, four of the familiar 1960 Barber of Seville, three of Orpheus in the Underworld (also from 1960) and three of a vintage       Samson and Delilah, a staging from the early 'fifties receiving a brief revival. The Cenerentola from 1959 returned for a final visit.  Gluck's Orpheus and Euridice was seen in the unfamiliar version for tenor,  Ernani had a rather controversial staging on its only tour, and Malcolm Williamson's Violins of Saint Jacques proved to be a genuinely popular new work.


The performance schedule was as follows:

Week 1, w/c Monday, 23 October:  Mon 23 Magic Flute;  Tue 24 Barber oSeville;  Wed 25 Orpheus and Euridice;  Thu 26 np;  Fri 27 Orpheus and Euridice;  Sat 28 Magic Flute.

Week 2, w/c Monday, 30 October:  Mon 30 np;  Tue 31 Samson and Delilah;  Wed 1 Nov Barber of Seville; Thu 2 Magic Flute;  Fri 3 Orpheus and Euridice;  Sat 4 Samson and Delilah.

Week 3, w/c Monday, 6 November:  Mon 6 np;  Tue 7 Violins of Saint-Jacques;  Wed 8 Ernani;  Thu 9 m Barber of Seville;  Thu 9 e Cenerentola;  Fri 10 Orpheus in the Underworld;  Sat 11 Ernani.  

Week 4, w/c Monday 13 November:  Mon 13  Cenerentola;  Tue 14 Samson and Delilah;  Wed 15 Orpheus in the Underworld;   Thu 16 Barber of Seville;  Fri 17 Violins of Saint-Jacques;  Sat 18 Orpheus in the Underworld.

Cast details are taken from a programme in the OperaScotland collection.

Performance Cast

Calliope Muse of Poetry, mother of Orpheus

Anna Pollak


Kevin Miller

Eurydice wife of Orpheus

Iris Kells

Pluto Lord of the Underworld

Emile Belcourt (Nov 10)

Dennis Brandt (Nov 15, 18)

Chloe Orpheus's girl-friend

Anne Wilkinson

Calliope's Chauffeur

Gerald Holding


Marie Robinson


Peter Tracey

Cupid Venus's son, the God of Love

Erica Johns (Nov 10, 18)

Elinor Dark (Nov 15)


Phyllis Glavin

Jupiter Father of all the Gods

Eric Shilling (Nov 10)

Derek Hammond Stroud (Nov 15, 18)

Juno Jupiter's wife

Sheila Rex


Margaret Eales

Vulcan Venus's husband

Douglas Stark


Valerie Robinson


Elvet Hughes


Norma Kubel


Lydia Conway

Mercury Jupiter's messenger

Brian O'Keeffe


Michael Chattin


Arthur Thelwell


Jane Whitehead


Malcolm Hoskinson

Bacchus god of wine

Christopher Beeching

John Styx the dead king of Boeotia

Rowland Jones

Cerberus the three-headed watch-dog of Hades

Paul Janssen

Peter Garrett

Donald Solomon

Lift Man

Elvet Hughes

Performance DatesOrphée aux Enfers 1967

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

10 Nov, 19.15 15 Nov, 19.15 18 Nov, 19.15

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