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Orpheus & Euridice
Splash rehearsal: COT prepares to perform in a pool.

Red carpets, ball gowns, gilded theaters and hot-tempered divas: Don?t get us wrong, we adore opera at its grandest.

But this weekend, Chicago?s cool little-sister opera company is putting on one splashy, unconventional show--for free--that you won?t want to miss.

Chicago Opera Theater will take over West Town?s 140,000-gallon Eckhart Park pool for four nights to stage Orpheus & Euridice, a Greek myth about a young musician and poet who journeys to the underworld to rescue his wife.

With cast members submerged and floating down the ?river of hate? in a boat, the modern retelling stars soprano Valerie Vinzant as Euridice and New York-based musician Todd Palmer--whose clarinet is bound to sound that much more haunting as it soars through the tiled, watery space.

All advance seating on the pool bleachers for the four performances was snatched up weeks ago. But as part of the company?s deal with the Chicago Park District, about 40 to 50 walk-up tickets will be handed out each night starting at 6 p.m.

Our advice for scoring a seat? Dive in early--or send your understudy to wait in line.

November 1, 3, 8 and 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Chicago Opera Theater at Eckert Park pool, 1330 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-704-8414 or chicagooperatheater.org

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