Orpheus and Eurydice
The opera opens with Orpheus mourning the loss of his wife, Eurydice who was fatally bitten by a snake. Grief stricken, he vows to rescue her from the underworld. Amore, the god of Love, consoles Orpheus by telling him that love can overcome all obstacles and gives him only one condition he must follow when he rescues Eurydice from Hades: he is not to hold her hand or look at her until they have ascended from Hades. Orpheus accepts the challenge and begins his passage to Hades.
Along his journey, he encounters the Furies, goddesses of vengeance. Orpheus' singing rouses the Furies and they let him pass safely. When Orpheus arrives at the Elysium, resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous, Eurydice is presented to him, blindfolded, by the gods. Without looking at her or saying a word to her, he leads Eurydice from Hades. Eurydice, impatient, begins to question Orpheus about why he is not speaking to her and why they are unable to embrace. She takes his coldness as rejection. No longer able to restrain himself, Orpheus turns to answer Eurydice and she dies once more in front of him. Distraught that his wife has died once again, Orpheus attempts to kill himself but Amore stops him. Amore revives Eurydice from death and the lovers are reunited.