Avant-gardist Jean Cocteau blends myth, realistic thriller, and fantasy in Orpheus, based on his 1926 one-act play of the same name and his 1933 Surrealist film Blood of a Poet.
Orpheus is a fascinating retelling of the Greek legend, set in contemporary Paris, in which the titular poet (Jean Marais) is involved in a love triangle with his wife, Eurydice; and Death (aka The Princess). After Eurydice is killed, Orpheus descends into the Underworld to reclaim her. The gods allow Orpheus to return to the land of the living with Eurydice—provided that he never looks at her.
“Full of haunting imagery plucked from the realm of fairy tales, Orpheus is one of the great cinematic fantasies of the 20th century, a bold attempt to merge film and poetry.” —BBC Films
About Hans Graf Known for his wide-ranging repertoire and creative programming, Austrian conductor Hans Graf—the Houston Symphony’s 15th music director—began his tenure in Houston in 2001. A frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras, Graf appears regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, Graf conducts in the foremost concert halls of Europe, Japan, and Australia. In 2010, he led the Houston Symphony on a tour of the UK to present the international premiere of "The Planets—An HD Odyssey." He has participated in the Maggio, Musicale Fiorentino, Bregenz, and Aix en Provence and appeared at the Salzburg Festival. Graf has been awarded the Chevalier de l’ordre de la Legion d’Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world, and the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.