Viterbo University to Present the Famous Satirical Opera Orpheus in the Underworld March 4-5
Thu, February 16, 2017

Feb. 16, 2017

Contact David Gardiner at 608-796-3790 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University music and music theatre students will perform Jacques Offenbach’s classic satirical opera Orpheus in the Underworld at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

“Orpheus in the Underworld has been a great audience pleaser through the ages,” said David Gardiner, Viterbo faculty member and stage director for the production. “It has lively, bright music that is a lot of fun. And of course it features the famous Infernal Gallop, or Can-Can.”

Often referred to as the first full-length operetta (light opera), Orpheus in the Underworld is a slightly scandalous satire of the opera Orpheus and Eurydice. It is most famous for the Infernal Gallop (Can-Can), which shocked its first audiences. The melodramatic antics of Greek gods, Orpheus, Eurydice, Public Opinion, and Love Police will entertain audience members with both humor and beautiful music.

“The production takes a funny poke at classical upper class sensibilities,” Gardiner said. “It has topical jokes that translate well to modern times and both sides of politics. This Viterbo production will be fun for everyone. It is a light-hearted piece with terrific costumes and great music.”

Gardiner is joined by fellow faculty members David Richardson, Frank Ludwig, and Dan Johnson-Wilmot, who are serving as the choral and orchestra director, set designer, and vocal coach, respectively. Alumnus Bryce Turgeon is the costume designer and alumnus Joey Miller is the choreographer. The production stars Viterbo students Joe Madary as Orpheus and Arianna Day as Eurydice.

This Viterbo production will be sung in English. An Arts in Context discussion will be held following the March 4 performance.

Orpheus in the Underworld is part of the Viterbo Bright Star Season. WKBT News 8 is the media sponsor. It was written by Jacques Offenbach, with English lyrics and book by Buck Ross, and reduced orchestration by Omari Tau.

Tickets are $23 for main floor, $20 for lower balcony, and $17 for upper balcony seating. For tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit


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