The song of Orpheus not only moves men and beasts but also nature as well. And it almost overcomes death. Monteverdi’s musical fable becomes, thanks to visionary director Barrie Kosky and composer Elena Kats-Chernin, an explosion of sensuality.
With music for protection, Orpheus goes on a perilous journey and heads to the underworld, hoping to win back his deceased beloved. The fatal love of Orpheus and Eurydice has fascinated artists and writers alike for thousands of years. It’s no wonder that one of the world’s very first successful operas deals with the tale of the Thracian singer.
Love and music are inextricably interwoven with one another: is it Orpheus’s love for Eurydice that moves the god of the underworld, or is it his captivating lament? Is it a love beyond comparison that has Orpheus fail on his way back to the surface or can’t he bear the silence of a world without music?
Barrie Kosky‘s colourful production of Claudio Monteverdi’s ORPHEUS starts as a frolicsome feast of music and love in the paradise of Arcadia, telling the story of Orpheus’s journey to the underworld and his quest to find himself. ‘Colourful’ is also the word that best describes the new instrumentation by Uzbek-Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin that brings out the timeless modernity of Monteverdi’s score, four hundred years after its initial composition.