Hamilton’s Department of Music presented the annual choir musical, Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Feb. 6-8, in Wellin Hall. The fully staged musical was directed by G. Roberts Kolb with choreography by Nancy Long and set and lighting design by William DiPaolo.
A comedic operetta, Orpheus in the Underworld takes a satirical look at the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. In the classic story, Orpheus is a renowned musician who is so distraught over the death of his wife, Eurydice, that he attempts to rescue her from the underworld, the place of the dead.
In this version, Orpheus is delighted when Pluto takes Eurydice off to the underworld and seeks to win her back only at the insistence of Public Opinion. Meanwhile, all the gods and goddesses on Olympus, bored with nectar and ambrosia, revolt against Jupiter and make their way to the underworld as well—and Jupiter’s habit of turning himself into something else in order to seduce a mortal woman takes an unusual turn. Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas would never have been written if not for the model and inspiration of Offenbach’s Parisian comic operettas
The cast for the Hamilton production of Orpheus in the Underworld included Benjamin Goldman '17 as Pluto, god of the underworld; Matthew Reinemann '17 as Jupiter, king of the gods; Brian Evans '15 as Orpheus, a musician; Timothy Hartel '18 as John Styx, servant of Pluto, formerly king of Boetia; Kevin Rovelli '15 as Mercury, messenger of the gods; Wilne Ledesma Arias '15 as Morpheus, god of sleep; Mackenzie Leavenworth '15 as Eurydice, wife of Orpheus; Catherine Daigle '17 as Dianna, goddess of the hunt and chastity; Kathleen Puccio '15 as Public Opinion; Olivia Hack '18 as Venus, goddess of love and beauty; Megan Gehan '18 as Cupid, god of desire and erotic love; Jennie Wilber '17 as Juno, wife of Jupiter; and Caitlin McQuade '18 as Minerva, goddess of wisdom.