The Lyre of Orpheus, first published by Macmillan of Canada in 1988, is the last of the three connected novels of the Cornish Trilogy by Canadian novelist Robertson Davies. It was preceded by The Rebel Angels (1981) and What's Bred in the Bone (1985).
In The Lyre of Orpheus, the executors of the will of Francis Cornish (the subject of What's Bred in the Bone) find themselves at the head of the "Cornish Foundation". The executors, Simon Darcourt, Arthur Cornish, and Maria Cornish, are called upon to decide what projects deserve funding. They decide that a hitherto-unfinished opera by E.T.A. Hoffmann will be staged at Stratford, Ontario; to this end, they hire a brilliant young composition student, Hulda Schnakenburg, to complete the opera, while Darcourt is charged with the completion of the libretto.
The story follows the production of the opera. As often happens in Davies' novels, all is not simple; for example, the ghost of Hoffman attends the proceedings. Nor is all peaceful among the characters.