Some of us yahoos have to take it for granted that 18th-century composer Christoph Willibald Gluck made important advances in the art of opera -- it's all Greek to us. It was also largely Greek to Gluck, who frequently drew inspiration from the enduring mythology of those heathen Hellenes, from the saga of the violent House of Atreus, whose high jinks play out against the backdrop of the Trojan War, to the lyrical tale of Echo and Narcissus.
Gluck's most popular work in the opera repertory, Orfeo ed Euridice, is being presented in its Arizona Opera première this season with the sets, costumes, and director from New York's 2007 Glimmerglass Opera production. It plays Phoenix through Sunday, April 15, before heading for a Tucson run.
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April 13-15, 7:30 p.m., 2012