To celebrate a new year of creation and collaboration at Forest Collective, we begin 2019 with Orpheus. Presented as part of Midsumma Festival at iconic arts precinct Abbotsford Convent, Orpheus is a new ballet-opera written by Artistic Director Evan Lawson, with choreography by Ashley Dougan (pictured).

The famous Orpheus myth has been used in opera many times. While most works focus on the journey to Hades and his relationship with Eurydice, we explore the unheard stories of the characters left behind by the great men in ancient mythology. Evan Lawson’s Orpheus encompasses this part of the story, but also includes lesser-known parts of the Orpheus myth that focus on his male lover, Calais, while journeying with the Argonauts. The opera is structured into four elements; one focused on Calais, one on Eurydice, one on the journey to Hades and the final section, where Orpheus is murdered while trying to reunite with Calais.

The performance will be performed by the 12 member ensemble of Forest Collective, including core-mezzo soprano Kate Bright as Eurydice. Three dancers physicalise the sung expressions of the three singers. As a new opera-ballet exploring the story of Orpheus and paying equal attention to his love of men and women, this story will engage members of the LGBTQI community, those interested in classics and mythology, and opera fans alike.

Ashley Dougan photoForest Collective presents Orpheus, as part of Midsumma Festival and Convent Live 

Composer & Musical Director - Evan Lawson 
Choreographer & Dancer - Ashley Dougan
Costume Designer - Jane Noonan
Set Designer - Candice MacAllister 
Dramaturgy - John Pyburn
Producer - Emily Sweeney  

Orpheus - Raymond Khong (guest musician)
Eurydice - Kate Bright
Calaïs - Joseph Ewart (guest musician) 
Dancers - Luke Fryer & Piaera Lauritz

Harp - Samantha Remirez (guest musician)
Flutes - Eric Tucceri (guest musician)
Saxophones - Jesse Deane (guest musician)
Clarinets - Vilan Mai
Recorders - Ryan Williams 
Trombone/Sackbut - Trea Hindley 
Percussion - Alexander Clayton 
Violin - Helen Bower 
Cello - Evelyn Searle (guest musician)
Double Bass - Ian Crossfield (guest musician)

Dates: Thursday Jan 31 - Sunday Feb 3
Times: Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 1:00pm
Sunday 3:30pm
Sunday 7:30pm
Prices: Full $40, Seniors Discount $35 Concession Discount $30, Group Discount $28 (min 4), Preview $27 (Thursday Jan 31)
Venue: Sacred Heart Oratory Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford 3167
Tickets: midsumma.org.au

Orpheus is a co-commission between Forest Collective & Prismatx Ensemble. Orpheus is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and City of Yarra.
Photo by Meghan Scerri. 

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