A team of cutting-edge creatives has collaborated to stage the first African production of Orfeo based on the Greek legend of the poet and musician Orpheus. Claudio Monteverdi’s masterpiece traces Orfeo’s fruitless descent to Hades in an attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to life. Despite its 400 year old antiquity, Orfeo’s themes of love, loss and the transcendent power of art still have universal resonance.
Award-winning director, Jaco Bouwer (Balbesit, Rooiland, and Samsa-Masjien) makes a grand Cape Town Opera debut exploring the themes with a visual approach to the production. ‘In essence, it is about image production – I will attempt to really delve into the construction and deconstruction of the image itself,’ says Bouwers.
The production is conducted by Erik Dippenaar and created in collaboration with Associate Director, Magdalene Minnaar and Choreographer, Ina Wichterich. Wolf Britz and Bridget Ann Baker provide lighting and costume design respectively, while the cast of young talents include:
Associate Director Magdalene Minnaar says, ‘The whole look of Orfeo is hip. Take Bridget Baker’s costumes as an example: amazing neon sneakers and outfits any hipster would die for. Orfeo has been designed not just as an opera but as an incredible piece of theatre that will leave you with questions, answers and beautiful music as you leave the theatre.’
Erik Dippenaar leads a cast of singers through Monteverdi’s achingly beautiful score, accompanied by the Cape Town-based Camerata Tinta Barocca. The orchestra includes two harpsichords, a chamber organ with wooden pipes, a theorbo, baroque guitar, viola da gamba, as well as a cornetto, a dulcian and period brass and strings. Dippernaar seeks to create an authentic sound by using original instruments and playing techniques.
Orfeo shows at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town for a limited 5 performances on 19, 20, 23, 24 & 26 November 2016. Tickets can be purchased online from Computicket or below. For more information, visit www.capetownopera.co.za