Orpheus and Eurydice. Conference of the philologist Paola Radici Colace
The panoramic Terrace on the Strait is the magical setting for the unforgettable Summer Nights at the MArRC with the extraordinary openings on Thursday and Saturday, from 8.00 pm to 11.00 pm, by a special admission ticket for only 3 euros.
On Thursday, August 29th, at 9.00 pm, the museum’s magical “outdoor living room” will host the philologist Paola Radici Colace, professor at the University of Messina, honorary president and scientific director of the International Center for Writers of Calabria, for a Conference on theme: “Orpheus and Eurydice: loss, absence and mourning. From the Greeks to music and painting ”.
The meeting is the seventh of the Cycle “Life, death and journey in classical mythology: literature, iconography, music”. It will be accompanied by video projections.
They will introduce: the director of the Museum Carmelo Malacrino and the president of CIS Calabria Loreley Rosita Borruto.
“The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is a dramatic and exemplary narrative of loss, absence and mourning”, Radici Colace says. “The focus of his narrative fabric, which has been treated in various disciplines and under different codes, in the course of Western civilization, will be musical and figurative communication. Starting from “The Orpheus” by Monteverdi (1607), the first true masterpiece of Italian melodrama; the dramatic musical action “Orpheus ed Eurydice” (1762) by Christoph Willibald Gluck; the musical work “The Soul of the Philosopher, Orpheus and Eurydice” (1791) by Franz Joseph Haydn; the symphonic poem “Orpheus” (1853-54) by Franz Liszt; the comic opera “Orphèè aux Enfers” (1858) by Charles Offenbach; the ballet “Orpheus” (1947) by Igor Stravinsky”. In contemporary times, the interpretations of Maria Callas and Roberto Vecchioni have particularly marked the musical history of the myth.
The mythical tale of the bond of broken prematurely love between the two young spouses who tried to overcome the border between earthly life and the afterlife has influenced artists and writers of every age and it is therefore recurrent also in the iconographic tradition. The girl, while trying to escape the seductions of Aristeo, trampled a poisonous snake that killed her. Orpheus, fole of pain, decided to go down to the Underworld to recover his beloved, convincing by his melodious music Caronte to ferry him. In the presence of Hades and Persephone, he expressed his suffering with song and harp, moving the Lords of the Underworld to the point of allowing him to bring Eurydice back to the world of the living, on condition that he preceded her uphill without ever looking back at her until he left from the Underworld. On suspicion of having been deceived, the hero of the Argonauts succumbed to the temptation to turn around, losing his beloved forever.
“In modern painting – Radici Colace says – we remember in particular the representation of Charles Jalabert of the nymphs who enchanted listen to the music of Orpheus (1853), the death of Eurydice in Ary Schefferl (1814), the anguish of Orpheus on the tomb of beloved in Gustave Moreau (1891), the descent into the underworld by Jean Restout, the scene of the request to the throne of Hades and Persephone by Jean Raoux (1718-’20), the ascent from Hades by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1861 ), the violated promise to Persephone and Hades in the instant of turning backwards portrayed by the brushes of Pieter Paul Rubens (1636-38), the famous Myth of Orpheus by Marc Chagall (1977)”. The romantic oil on canvas by George Friederic Watts (1872) depicts “Orpheus and Eurydice” in a dramatic, intense and compelling narrative synthesis of the passionate love between the two lovers and of his tragic ending.
For the scholar, the masterpieces in sculpture are: the marble group in two blocks by Antonio Canova (1773-76) and the statue of Auguste Rodin (1893). They depict Orpheus followed by Eurydice in the topical moment in which the mythical singer turns back and understands in a flash of being like this to lose his beloved forever: for desperation Orpheus lays his hand on his head, while Eurydice, with his head towards high, it is already bound by destiny and the flames of Hades.