Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. The piece was first performed at Vienna on October 5, 1762. Orfeo ed Euridice is the first of Gluck's "reform" operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in both the music and the drama.
The opera is the most popular of Gluck's works, and one of the most influential on subsequent German opera. Variations on its plot - the underground rescue-mission in which the hero must control, or conceal, his emotions - include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Beethoven's Fidelio and Wagner's Das Rheingold. This 1977 recording stars Kathleen Ferrier and Greet Koeman. Charles Bruck conducts.