Orphée is the first in a trilogy by Glass based on the films of Jean Cocteau. This first instalment was written in 1991 and premiered in 1993. Director Netia Jones’ production combines live action and large projections, which feature moments from Cocteau’s acclaimed 1950 film.
Beware self-obsession; turn outward instead and let love save you. Orphée has fallen in love with a mysterious princess, despite the fact he is already married to Eurydice. As he moves between the worlds of the dead and the living, Orphée becomes gripped by the idea of immortality.
Baritone Nicholas Lester fulfils the title role of Orphée. Alongside him is Sarah Tynan, who takes on the role of Eurydice for the second instance in ENO’s season. Nicky Spence and Anthony Gregory, former ENO Harewood Artists, join them. Soprano Jennifer France makes her ENO debut as the Princess.
Philip Glass is famed for his innovative, minimalistic compositions. He is the recipient of a glittering host of awards, including a BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award. Glass’ previous collaborations with ENO are Satyagraha and the Olivier Award-winning Akhnaten.
Geoffrey Paterson conducts. As well as making her ENO directorial debut, Netia Jones is the costume and video designer and responsible for translation along with Emma Jenkins. Set design comes from Lizzie Clachan and lighting design is by Lucy Carter.
Beautifully executed, Orphée is one of the jewels in the crown of ENO’s 2019/20 season. See it at the London Coliseum from 15 November 2019.
Running time: 2 hours 40 mins
Age recommendation: No under 5s
Special notice: If you enjoyed Einstein on the Beach, Akhnaten, or any other of Glass’ distinctive and excellent works, you shouldn’t miss the chance to secure Orphée tickets. Director Netia Jones’ production is slick, impressive, and bound to intrigue.