Orpheus in another world

Published: 29 October 2022
Reporter: David Upton

Orpheus goes East

An innovative new staging of Monteverdi’s opera Orpheus by Opera North comes to The Lowry, Salford November 19.

It weaves a new musical and dramatic tapestry from western and Indian classical music.

The new version features additional composition and arrangements by Jasdeep Singh Degun, working as co-music director with early music expert Laurence Cummings.

The opera will be sung in Italian and Urdu, with additional sections sung in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali. There will be English titles at all performances.

Some passages are arranged for Indian classical instruments including the sitar, tabla and tar shehnai, in addition to European baroque instruments such as harpsichord, theorbo and lirone.

The project has grown out of Opera North’s relationship with South Asian Arts-Uk, a Leeds-based centre of Indian classical music.

In a production directed by Anna Himali Howard with sets and costumes by Leslie Travers, the setting of one of the most famous Greek myths is relocated to a contemporary wedding party in a British garden.

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