Scottish Opera Young Company is to perform one of Gluck’s most popular and enduring works: Orfeo & Euridice.
The company, formerly Connect Company, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, takes to the stage at The Beacon in Greenock on 6 and 7 April, following the success of its production of Dido and Aeneas there in 2017.
New artistic director Jonathon Swinard conducts the young performers, who are aged 16 to 23, and professional singers Daniel Keating-Roberts (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 2016) as Orfeo and Jessica Leary (Pop-up Opera 2018) as Euridice.
A dancer from Dance Studio Scotland at Glasgow Clyde College also joins the cast. Opera and theatre director Caroline Clegg makes her Scottish Opera debut, and designer Finlay McLay (Dido and Aeneas 2017) returns as designer.
Based on the myth of Orpheus, Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice — at one moment full of fury, the next clear and pure — tells the tale of one man’s determination to defy the gods and rescue his lover from Hades. But can he resist temptation long enough to save her?
Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s director of education and outreach, said: ‘Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice was a real game changer in terms of the narrative development of the art form of opera, as we recognise it today.
‘As artistically revelatory and thought-provoking for audiences in 1774 as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is for contemporary theatre-goers, and featuring one of the loveliest and best known arias in the operatic repertoire (Che farò senza Euridice), this might just be the ultimate, universal tale of boy meets girl, boy loses, and then finds girl again.’
Jonathon Swinard, Scottish Opera Young Company artistic director said: ‘It is a privilege to be the new artistic director of the Scottish Opera Young Company and I’m hugely looking forward to conducting Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice this April. Curiously, this piece was actually the first opera I ever worked on as a young repetiteur at the age of 18.
‘Fast-forward a few years, and it is a lovely feeling to be rehearsing this work with the exceedingly talented members of the Scottish Opera Young Company, many of whom are also gaining their first real stage experience through this wonderful piece.’
Orfeo & Euridice is supported by Edith Rudinger Gray Trust for Opera Studies, John Mather Trust, Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust, The Carntyne Trust, The W.A. Cargill Fund, The Russell Trust, The William Syson Charitable Foundation, James Wood Bequest Fund, The Thistle Trust, Sir Ian Stewart Foundation and Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.