The Orpheus Myth

No myth is more foundational to musicians than the tragic tale of Orpheus and his lute. On April 19th, SalonEra guests scholar Susan McClary, soprano Michele Kennedy, and tenor Jason McStoots bring the story to life through conversation and music that spans the centuries. Audiences will enjoy excerpts from Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers (in archival performances shared with SalonEra by the Boston Early Music Festival) as we consider different artistic interpretations of the story including Marcel Camus’ 1959 film Black Orpheus. Tune in for new remote collaborations of music by Monteverdi, Rameau, Maurice Green, and Vaughn Williams, each of whom used the Orpheus story to probe connections between humanity and music. others.

Episode Credits

Debra Nagy, host & executive producer
Shelby Yamin, associate producer
Eric Milnes, Remote Collaboration Audio production

Episode Guests

Susan McClary


Michele Kennedy

Michele Kennedy


Jason McStoots



Links to recordings and additional web resources coming soon.


Jean-Philippe Rameau: “Que du bruit de tes hauts exploits” from Orphée

Maurice Greene: Orpheus with his lute
Text: William Shakespeare

Luiz Bonfá, arr. Nagy: Manhã de Carnaval

Ralph Vaughn Williams: Orpheus with his lute
Text: William Shakespeare
Courtesy of Jason McStoots

Claudio Monteverdi: Si dolce il tormento

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Excerpt from La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers
Courtesy The Boston Early Music Festival

Claudio Monteverdi: Excerpt from Orfeo
Courtesy The Boston Early Music Festival


Joseph Sopko & Elizabeth Macintyre
Deborah Malamud & Neal Plotkin
Tom & Marilyn McLaughlin

William Anderson
Gerry Fathauer & Jeff Hutchinson
Arthur Rotatori & Tara Fields
Sarah Steiner
Marc Vincent & Alex Nalbach 

John & Joanne Goodell
Paula Mindes & George Gilliam
Tim & Marjorie Minnis
Shirley Simmons
Jean Toombs
Daniel Williams