plot overview | character descriptions | detailed synopsis


For song placement and context (along with links to samples of the music), please see the detailed synopsis

Toulon, France. June 1940, on the eve of World War II, Orpheus a street violinist longs to break away from his alcoholic father and find true love. While playing in the train station, he meets Eurydice, an actress traveling with her mother in a theatrical troupe. After a night of sharing their thoughts and dreams, Orpheus and Eurydice decide to break away from their parents and run away together. But Eurydice's past comes back to haunt her and drives her to her death. Orpheus tries to join Eurydice in death but is stopped by a mysterious stranger. He offers Orpheus the chance to have Eurydice back under the condition that Orpheus not look at her until he has fully returned to the world of the living. Orpheus agrees to the condition and finds himself holding Eurydice's hand once more.

As questions about Eurydice's past arise, Orpheus' faith in Eurydice's love for him erodes until he can no longer feel her behind him. He turns to try to reclaim her and finds himself looking into her eyes. Eurydice slips away from him into death as morning arrives and Orpheus finds himself once more at his father's side.

The stranger offers Orpheus a chance to takes his own life so that he can join Eurydice forever. Orpheus insists that Eurydice is with him - she lives through his music. As he plays his violin, Mussolini's planes arrive. With a large explosion, Orpheus suddenly finds himself looking once again in Eurydice's eyes as she leads him to a new life away from a world at war.