Love is in the air this spring as Cape Town Opera kickstarts the new season with Orphée et Eurydice, one of German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck’s most popular operas. The story recounts the myth of Greek musician and poet Orpheus’ grief over the sudden death of his young wife, Eurydice, and his challenging journey into the Underworld to resurrect her.
Gluck realised his dream of creating a new style of opera distinguished by classical simplicity and dramatic integrity.
The South African production of Orphée et Eurydice is set to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, and directed by the mother city’s own Matthew Wild. Wild is famous for his blockbuster reinterpretations of The Rocky Horror Show, West Side Story, and Kinky Boots. This time around Wild rejuvenates the tale by merging song and poetic imagery with understated choreography, a movement not often explored in opera. And for an added modernised twist, his casting follows though on the production’s 1859 French adaptation with three female leads leading the cast. Famous British-Singaporean mezzo Fleur Barron tackles Orphée, with soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi in top form as Eurydice, rounded out by the Mother City’s rising soprano, Brittany Smith, as Amour.
Music director Tim Murray showcases the extraordinary talents of the Cape Town Opera Chorus. Under Murray’s steadfast guidance, audience members can also look forward to the heartbreaking aria “J’ai perdu mon Eurydice” (“I have lost my Eurydice”.)
The opera is sung in the original French with English and isiXhosa translations projected above the stage. Orphée et Eurydice is staged for a limited run at the Baxter Theatre on three dates in September.
Exclusive offer: Get 30% off the best seats in the house for the performance on Saturday 7 September.
Venue: Baxter Theatre, Main Rd, Rondebosch, Cape Town
Time: Tue & Thu 7pm for 7.30pm | Sat 5.30pm for 6pm
Cost: R180 – R280