ORPHEUS + EURYDICE – The Orphic Cycles

Charmenehringir II © Valdimar Jóhansson

The ancient material about the (im)mortal love between Orpheus and Eurydice is present in countless adaptations. This is hardly surprising since it’s the elementary motives of humanity that are discussed here: love, art, and death. The popular myth itself is derived from the even older story about Demeter, who lost her daughter Persephone to Hades and the underworld. In her honor, mystic celebrations of several days were held in ancient Greece, through which dances, making music together, singing, screaming, and lamenting became central elements of the ritualistic search for Persephone.

The multidisciplinary Icelandic artist Erna Ómarsdóttir reinterprets the myth of Orpheus in five cycles of eternal growth and decay, intertwining ancient and Indo-European legends as well as contemporary subjects. With a mixed cast of actors from the Freiburg Theater and dancers from the Iceland Dance Company, she examines the metamorphoses and reproductive forces of culture and art, which over time have made Mother Earth a skilled lyre player and her offspring his tragic bride, who follows her husband silently and on soft soles.

In her new borderline-musical, Erna Ómarsdóttir questions the dualisms of life and death, understanding and feeling, artistic creation and silence, man and woman … – Who has the Golden Fleece? Where do the snakes come from? And does Eurydice actually want to go back to the (upper) world?


December 17 – 19, 2021
Theater Freiburg, Freiburg

December 18, 2021  “Sound of Silence- die stumme Eurydike” with Wiebke Hüster, Mateja Meded, and Erna Omarsdottir

December 19, 2021 “An Evening of Songs” with Ólöf Arnalds & Skuli Sverrirsson

January 13 – 14 and 16, 2022 
Theater Freiburg, Freiburg (Cancelled)

January 27 – 29, 2022
Kampnagel / NORDWIND-Plattform, Hamburg

January 27, 2022 “An Evening of Songs” with Ólöf Arnalds & Skuli Sverrirsson

February 18 – 20, 2022 
Theater Freiburg, Freiburg

March 10 – 11 and 13, 2022 
Theater Freiburg, Freiburg


Erna Ómarsdóttir – direction and choreography

Gabríela Friðriksdóttir – stage design and costumes

Bjarni Jónsson – text and translation

Valdimar Jóhansson, Skúli Sverrisson – composition and arrangemens

Valdimar Jóhansson – video design

Tamina Theiß  – dramaturgy

Dorothee Hoff – light

Ricarda Ciontos – project coordination & accompanying program

Johann Diel   – production manager

Camilla Dania – assistant director and evening production manager

Peter Carp – intendant

Dancers & Actresses/Actors:

Felix Urbina Alejandre

Una Björg Bjarnadóttir

Thieß Brammer

Victor Calero

Janna Horstmann

Henry Meyer

Stefanie Mrachacz

Ho-Ching Charmene Pang

Saga Sigurðardóttir

Orpheus and Eurydice is a coproduction of Theater Freiburg and Iceland Dance Company with NORDWIND Festival and Kampnagel Hamburg.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation          

Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media

Funded by the Innovation Fund for Arts of the State of Baden-Wurttemberg