Artists Across Media Tackle the Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice 

Friday, April 8-Saturday, April 9 at BAM

On one hand, myths are stories involving supernatural beings that teach lessons or provide explanations of natural phenomena. On the other, myths can be falsehoods or old wives' tales--like the myth that Pop Rocks and soda will cause your stomach to explode. But many ancient myths have provided the backbone for some great works of art.

The Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has been explored in art, literature and drama for centuries. The story is simple, thus lending it to varied interpretations. Orpheus, a musician, falls in love with Eurydice and they get married. But when Eurydice is walking through a field after the wedding, she is bitten by a viper and dies. Sick with grief, Orpheus travels to the underworld to get her back. Once there, he plays a song to win her freedom. As John Milton wrote in Orpheus' Song, the music "drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, and made hell grant what love did seek."

Hades freed Eurydice on one condition: that Orpheus not turn around to look at her until they both reached the other side. He almost made it but as he reached the light of the Earth he looked back, and she was gone forever. Opera Idaho, Idaho Dance Theatre, Boise State's Department of Music and Boise Art Museum will present four multimedia performances of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Sculpture Court at BAM. Stephen Knapp's light paintings provide a backdrop for original choreography and live musical score.

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