A co-production with NI Opera
Aided and abetted by Scottish satirist Rory Bremner, Scottish Opera will tour a new production of Jacques Offenbach’s send up of Greek mythology, Orpheus in the Underworld, this Autumn.
Bremner has written a new translation of the opera, and his sharp tongue and political nous are a perfect match for Offenbach, who was well known for parodying the work of other composers of his day.
Originally created to satirise the government of Napoleon III’s France, here the action is updated to the present day as director Oliver Mears pokes fun at our media mad, celebrity-obsessed world.
Orpheus is perhaps Offenbach’s best-known work and features some of the funniest scenes and daftest situations in French opera. His riotous sense of humour and knack for catchy tunes take the characters (which include Eurydice, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Pluto and Public Opinion) from one ridiculous situation to another, culminating in the riotous revelry of the world-famous ‘Cancan’.
The ensemble cast features Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Marie Claire Breen and Ross McInroy, as well as 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World finalist Máire Flavin, and Nicholas Sharratt in the role of Orpheus. Claire Haslin and Ruth Wilkinson will play for piano-accompanied performances, while Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark will conduct a chamber-sized ensemble drawn from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera in other performances.
Orpheus in the Underworld opens on 8 September at the Citizens’ Theatre in Glasgow. It will tour Scotland in both piano and chamber orchestra-accompanied performances until 22 October, taking in Fort William, Portree, Stornoway, Wick, Tain, Fraserburgh, Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Linlithgow, Stirling, Dumfries, Dundee, Lerwick, Aboyne, Kelso, Irvine and Helensburgh.
It will then transfer to Northern Ireland and on to London’s Young Vic for a two-week run.
Scottish Opera’s General Director Alex Reedijk said, ‘Distilling great opera down to a size that we can tour to smaller Scottish venues has been at the heart of what we do for 33 years and I’m pleased that we’re going back on the road this year with what’s promising to be a highly entertaining interpretation of this cheeky opera. We’re looking forward to see what people make of it!’
Orpheus in the Underworld is sung in English; running time is 2 hours (including 20 minute interval).
For more information on performance dates in Northern Ireland and London, and to book tickets, visit www.scottishopera.org.uk.
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CAST PRODUCTION TEAM
Orpheus Nicholas Sharratt Conductor+ Derek Clark Adrian Ward (17 Sept) (orchestra-accompanied performances)
Eurydice Jane Harrington
Music Director/Pianist Claire Haslin / Ruth Wilkinson (piano-accompanied performances)
Public Opinion Máire Flavin Director Oliver Mears
Jupiter Brendan Collins Designer Simon Holdsworth
Diana Daire Halpin Lighting Designer Kevin Treacy
Pluto/Aristaeus Gavan Ring Movement Director Anna Morrissey
John Styx/Mars Ross McInroy Reduced Orchestration Tony Burke
Venus/Cupid Marie Claire Breen
Juno Olivia Ray
Mercury Christopher Diffey
PERFORMANCE DIARY (SCOTLAND)
Thu 8, Sat 10 Sep, 7:30pm & Sunday 11 Sep, 4pm
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
Tue 13 Sep, 7:30pm
The Nevis Centre, Fort William
Thu 15 Sep, 7:30pm
The Aros Centre, Portree
Sat 17 Sep, 7:30pm
An Lanntair, Stornoway
Tue 20 Sep, 7:30pm
Wick High School
Thu 22 Sep, 7:30pm
The Duthac Centre, Tain
Sat 24 Sep, 7:30pm
Dalrymple Hall, Fraserburgh
Tue 27 Sep, 7:30pm
One Touch, Eden Court, Inverness
Thu 29 Sep, 7:30pm
Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy
Sat 1 Oct, 7:30pm
Wed 12 Oct, 7:30pm
The Garrison Theatre, Lerwick
Sat 15 Oct, 7:30pm
Deeside Theatre, Aboyne
Tue 18 Oct, 7:30pm
Tait Hall, Kelso
Thu 20 Oct, 7:30pm
Magnum Theatre, Irvine
Sat 22 Oct, 7:30pm
Victoria Halls, Helensburgh
Chamber orchestra-accompanied performances
Tue 4 Oct, 7:30pm
Thu 6 Oct, 7:30pm
Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries
Sat 8 Oct, 7:30pm
Gardyne Theatre, Dundee*
Mon 24 Oct – Sat 5 Nov
Thur 1 – Sat 20 Dec
Young Vic, London
Supported by The Alexander Gibson Circle.