The mythical Orpheus, who lost his Eurydice forever when he looked back as he was rescuing her from the underworld, has inspired everything from the most creative composers to the most dramatic compositions. Charpentier was the first French composer to set Ovid’s myth to music. In his cantata Orphée descendant aux enfers, three male voices sing of Orpheus’ sorrow. A few years later, Charpentier used the same material for his chamber opera La descente aux enfers. Vox Luminis and a nocte temporis descend into the deepest caverns of the underworld and lend a freshness to Charpentier’s two rarely‐performed masterpieces.