I was very excited to see the contemporary concept of the epic Greek mythical tale Orpheus and Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck.
Brisbane circus company Circa teamed up their thrilling fusion of acrobatics with classical music and opera to produce a visually stunning show.
Heartbroken Orpheus has been granted the chance to bring his beloved wife Eurydice back from the underworld with one condition: he must not look at her – even for a moment – on their perilous journey home.
But can he resist the desire to look into the eyes of his true love?
From the opening scene where Eurydice descends from the ceiling writhing in positions you didn’t think possible mid-air to the closing scene where Orpheus uses his hands to paint in blood on the wall ‘THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE’, I was enthralled by the tenors and sopranos belting out their resounding best, accompanied by sublime, orchestral music and the circus performer’s raw physicality of movement.
The minimalist set with the stark, white walls contrasted beautifully with the black, white, red and nude costumes, and the subtitled projections on the wall disappearing into smoke highlighted the grief and longing that the central characters portrayed in their heartbreaking journey of love and loss.
Owen Willett’s astonishing countertenor voice conveyed such beauty, yet darkness in Orpheus’ torturous passage of despair on stage and was a highlight for me, while Natalie Christie Peluso’s exquisite and sensuous portrayal of Eurydice was equally as moving.
At times, it was hard to choose what to focus on, as the 8 incredible acrobatic performers thrashing and contorting in the background, forming literal towers of strength and manipulating themselves on ropes and silks kept tearing my attention away from reading the subtitles and listening to the opera.
So much artistry going on – there was never a dull moment.
A truly wonderful production that brought the tragic saga Orpheus and Eurydice to vivid life through 90 minutes of spectacular acrobatics, superb singing and heavenly music.
Would highly recommend.