Opera Queensland and contemporary circus company Circa are joining forces to present Christoph Gluck’s much-loved opera ‘Orpheus & Eurydice’.
In this updated production, Circa’s Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz combines Gluck’s evocative score with the vocals of British counter tenor Owen Willetts (Orpheus) and soprano Natalie Christie Peluso (Eurydice), with the Opera Queensland Chorus and eight acrobats completing the cast. Owen Willetts reflects on the show’s beginnings.
“When I was approached to take the role, I was already aware of Circa’s reputation and their ability to create extraordinary cross-genre productions fusing opera and circus,” Owen says. He first played the role of Orpheus in Boston Baroque’s production almost a decade ago. “That was the first time I’d performed in America and I’d like to think I’ve matured and developed since then, so it will be interesting to revisit the role and have the opportunity to explore it in an entirely new way,” he admits.
Owen is no newcomer to circus/opera productions having worked previously with circus performers and dancers in the UK. “I’ve done a fair bit of physical theatre and worked with dancers in other productions and really enjoyed it,” Owen reflects. “So while this is on a much larger scale, it isn’t entirely new to me. We’re only two days in [at the time of the interview] and I’m already doing lifts and working on their suspensions so it will be interesting to see just how far we go in terms of the integration.”
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