Going To Space: Orpheus and Eurydice

The About Turn Theatre Company are bringing Orpheus and Eurydice to EdFringe '15. It proudly boasts being the longest running Opera on the Fringe circuit. Broadway Baby finds out more.

The opera is a retelling of the classic story - overcome by grief for his deceased bride Eurydice, Orpheus travels to the underworld to claim her back from the dead.

Tell us about your show

Some of the country’s most promising opera graduates, alongside international counter-tenor Magid El Bushra and staged by German state opera director Sebastian Ukena, perform a new English production of Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Eurydice.

This is the longest running opera at the Fringe this year, and marries professional production standards with making opera enjoyable to all ages. A modern staging with chamber orchestra in one of the Fringe’s oldest venues.

The opera is a retelling of the classic story - overcome by grief for his deceased bride Eurydice, Orpheus travels to the underworld to claim her back from the dead. It is a contemporary take on the classic tale of an undying love, the danger of tempting fate, and how just one moment can change everything.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

Last year we staged Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in the same beautiful venue - We enjoyed success both in terms of excellent audience numbers (making us the most watched opera at last year’s Fringe) and through published reviews (including a lovely commendation from Broadway Baby!) inspired us to aim even higher this year. A full-length opera, with a new translation at a prime slot with some amazing singers – including graduates and students of the Royal Welsh College and Royal Academy of Music.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?

Hopefully seeing full audiences with such a wide range of different people. People sometimes (wrongly) assume that opera isn’t for them. Last year we had all ages, including a couple of babies and a very attentive guide dog!

Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?

Nothing beats the festival for its vibrancy, and it’s also a true challenge. There are so many productions that you can’t rest on your laurels – to compete with 3000 productions you have to strive for excellence.

Have you brought a show to the festival before?

This will be About Turn’s 26th show at the fringe since 2002 – so in some way we’re veterans to the festival, but every year we come with different designers and performers keeping pieces exciting and fresh. We also produce a real range – from classical opera to children’s shows. In 2011 we did Red Riding Hood in one venue and Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and F***ing in another!

What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?

It’s the longest running opera at the fringe. There’s not much choice of classical opera and the other productions are doing just a few performances. We’re doing 14. 

Show Name: Orpheus and Eurydice

Production Company: The About Turn Theatre Company

Venue: [email protected] Venue 45

Dates: 14-29 August (not Sundays)

Times: 19:40-20:50

Twitter Handle: @FringeOrpheus

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