GReek mythologies are often considered some of the most romantic stories in literature. One such story is that of Orpheus and Eurydice, an oak nymph and the daughter of Apollo, who is the god of music, prophecy and light.
In the original story, Orpheus played joyful songs on his wedding to Eurydice who danced through the meadow. But one day, Aristaeus, Apollo’s son by another goddess, saw Eurydice and pursued her. As the newly wed nymph ran away, she stepped on a viper, got bitten and died instantly.
Orpheus played and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and deities wept and told him to travel to the Underworld to retrieve her.
In modern times, playwright Sarah Ruhl retells the myth of Orpheus from the perspective of Eurydice. In this play, which debuted in 2003, Eurydice makes a choice to return to earth with Orpheus or stay in the Underworld with her father.
Ruhl made several changes to the original storyline—foremost is Eurydice calling out to Orpheus to look back, perhaps because of her fear in re-entering the world of the living and her desire to remain in the land of the dead with her father.
It is this compelling play by Ruhl, which Tanghalang Pilipino has cleverly adapted in the local context, translated into Filipino by Guelan Luarca. The piece features Lhorvie Ann Nuevo as Eurydice and Marco Viaña as Orfeo.
A sneak peek into the play was held at the thanksgiving luncheon of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for the media on February 15 – where the audience saw how Orfeo (localized Orpheus) charmed Eurydice with his music before their wedding day.
Ongoing at the CCP Little Theater [Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino] since February 17 and through March 5, the mesmerizing tale of love, life and loyalty is enhanced by the magnificent set design of the Underworld by acclaimed stage designer Loy Arcenas directing a brilliant cast composed of Audie Gemora, Juliene Mendoza, Alfritz Blanche and members of Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company. They are Jonathan Tadioan, Marco Viaña, Antonette Go, Doray Davao, JV Ibesate, Aldo Vencilao, Joshua Tayco, Ybes Bagadiong, Blanche Buhia, Eunice Pacia , Monique Nellas and Lhorvie Ann Nuevo in the title role.