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This Author: Robertson Davies
This Narrator: Frederick Davidson
This Publisher: Blackstone Audio

The Lyre of Orpheus by Robertson Davies

The Lyre of Orpheus

by Robertson Davies

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
14 Hrs. 30 Min.
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There is an important decision to be made. The Cornish Foundation, set up with money left by the late Francis Cornish, art expert, collector, connoisseur, and notable eccentric, must choose a worthy undertaking upon which to expend a portion of its considerable funds. As the Foundation's chairman, Francis's nephew Arthur Cornish (ably assisted by his loving, beguiling wife, Maria Theotoky), believes-and prizing an image as a dashing, daring, imaginative patron of the arts has no small influence on his reasoning-they should select a project worthy of the risk taker whose name the foundation bears.

And so it is decided: the Foundation will fund the doctoral work of one Hulda schnakenburg, a grumpy, grimy, thoroughly difficult, and extraordinarily talented music student. Her task is to complete the score of an unfinished opera by the romantic composer, writer, and music critic E.T.A. Hoffmann. In addition to this, the Foundation, against all common sense-and against the advice of Simon Darcourt-will undertake to stage the opera, entitled "Arthur of Britain", or "The Magnanimous Cuckold".

As the production takes shape, Hoffmann's restless spirit hovers rather too close for comfort, and his dictum "The lyre of Orpheus opens the door of the underworld" proves prophetic for many a participant: Darcourt, priest and scholar, is astonished to find himself resorting to not-so-petty crime; Arthur and Maria face an unusual crisis in their marriage, and her Gypsy blood comes out with a vengeance; and even the late, unlamented John Parlabane casts his other-worldly influence over the proceedings in the person of the sniveling Wally Crottel.

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More Details

  • Published: February 1997
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T020742
Available On
Audio CD
12 Discs
11 Tapes