The wedding of the year is here
This pioneering collaboration melds the music of Monteverdi’s 1607 opera Orfeo with brand new music by composer and virtuoso sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun. Together, he and early music specialist Laurence Cummings lead a cast starring some of the best Indian classical and European baroque musicians in the UK.
In this beautiful new version of an ancient story, Orpheus, a musician of mythical power, marries Eurydice. But the newlyweds’ joy is shattered by her sudden death, so our heartbroken hero sets off on a mission to the underworld to rescue his bride.
Set in a leafy garden bursting with colour, be mesmerised as the trumpet and theorbo meet the sitar and the santoor in a moving musical encounter between East and West.
“This production’s significance cannot be overstated”
★★★★★ — The Independent
“I would have liked to hear it all over again.”
★★★★★ — The Observer
“Sheer boldness of vision… an outstanding cross-cultural success.”
★★★★★ — The Stage
“A thought-provoking experiment, superbly performed by all”
★★★★ — The Telegraph
“This Orpheus has a special magic… a thing of joy.”
★★★★ — The Times
Music by Claudio Monteverdi and Jasdeep Singh Degun
Musical arrangements by Ashok Gupta
Original Italian text by Alessandro Striggio
Translations by Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE and Shahbaz Hussain
Additional translations by Chandra Chakraborty, Amarjit Dhami, Saikrishnakumar Rangachari, Deepa Nair Rasiya
Approximately 2 hours 50 minutes including one interval
Italian, Hindi and Urdu, with English titles
Also featuring Malayalam, Bengali, Panjabi and Tamil
Audio described performances
*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.
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We gather in a local garden. Two goddesses of music invite you to join us in honouring the marriage of Eurydice and Orpheus.
The couple, their family, and their friends sing and play music of love, praise and celebration. Orpheus and Eurydice go to the temple to offer prayers while the festivities continue.
The sun dawns on a mehfil. Having celebrated through the night, Orpheus and his friends continue to make music together, singing of the beauty of nature and his future with his wife. But the celebrations are ended by the arrival of Sylvia. She bears news of Eurydice’s death. Orpheus is overcome with grief and, refusing to accept that Eurydice is gone, he resolves to bring her back.
Orpheus journeys to the Land of the Dead. Nambikkai (Hope) leads Orpheus through this strange place that almost looks like home, filled with gods and spirits with the faces of his family and friends. At the boundary between life and beyond, he sings to the boatman Caronte (“Possente spirto, e formidabil nume” – Powerful spirit, formidable god), who pities him but does not let him cross. Eventually, lulled by Orpheus’ music, Caronte falls into a deep sleep, allowing Orpheus to travel on through the other world.
Proserpina, Queen of the Land of the Dead, has overheard Orpheus’ plea. She asks her husband Pluto to allow him to return home with Eurydice. Pluto agrees on the condition that Orpheus leads her back to the world of the living without once looking back. As they journey home, Orpheus begins to doubt that Eurydice is behind him and can’t help but turn back to check.
Orpheus opens his eyes. He is back at home and Eurydice is still gone. But Orpheus is forever changed by what he has seen of the other world and, through the rift, the guru-god Apollo returns to light his way through this time of great loss and change.
This audio introduction gives detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances.
It is to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!
The large print transcript is available to download as a Word Doc.
Deepa Nair Rasiya
Deepa Nair Rasiya
Silvia (The Messenger)
Kirpal Singh Panesar
Kirpal Singh Panesar
Viola David Aspin
Lirone Emilia Benjamin
Theorbo Sergio Bucheli
Cello Daniel Bull
Sitar Jasdeep Singh Degun
Bass Damian Rubido Gonzalez
Tabla Shahbaz Hussain
Viola Katie Jarvis
Violin Andrew Long
Esraj & Tar Shehnai Kirpal Singh Panesar
Mridangam, Ghatam & Kanjira R.N.Prakash
Violin Cristina Ocaña Rosado
Santoor Kaviraj Singh
Harp & Swarmandal Celine Saout
Flute, Bansuri, Murali, Violin & Viola Vijay Venkat
Percussion Mark Wagstaff
Trumpet Adam Wood
Music Director & Harpsichord Laurence Cummings
Music Director & Sitar Jasdeep Singh Degun
Assistant Conductor & Harpsichord Ashok Gupta
Director Anna Himali Howard
Set and Costume Designer Leslie Travers
Lighting Designer Jackie Shemesh
Choreographer Urja Desai Thakore
Sound Designer Camilo Tirado
Translation and Music Consultants Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE & Shahbaz Hussain
Associate Director Simone Ibbett-Brown
Additional translation Chandra Chakraborty, Amarjit Dhami, Saikrishnakumar Rangachari & Deepa Nair Rasiya