A film of Monterverdi's masterpiece in the acclaimed Zurich production of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle under the musical direction of the great Nikolaus Harnoncourt from 1978
Arcadian landscape. Shepherds and nymphs greet the day. Orpheus and Eurydice, happy in their love, join in the chant. The shepherds and nymphs listen to the song of Orpheus, which announces the fulfilment of his love. But a messenger tells the singer that he has been severely doomed: his lover was ripped away by death. In the Underworld, moved by the missing songs of Orpheus, the Guardian of the Dead opens the gate to the Underworld and Eurydice may follow her husband when he finds his way to the Land of Light. However, if he looks back to his beloved, she must return to the shadows. The two already approach the sunlight, when Orpheus, tormented by doubts, stops at the threshold to the underworld. Fearfully, he turns to Eurydice, who is now banished to the land of silence for all time. Full of despair Orpheus remains behind.