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Watch: John Fulljames and Hofesh Shechter on their new production of Orphée et Eurydice

New production of Gluck's most popular work features the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

26 June 2015 at 3.49pm | Comment on this article

The Royal Opera opens the Autumn Season 2015/16 with a new production of Gluck's Orphée et Eurydicedirected by Royal Opera Associate Director John Fulljames and acclaimed choreographer Hofesh Shechter.

The opera, conducted by early music specialist John Eliot Gardiner, will feature the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, one of the world's leading period instrument orchestras.

‘I couldn’t believe it when I was told that Sir John Eliot Gardiner is conducting, because he was my hero when I was 18 years old – and he still is!’ says Hofesh Shechter.

The opera, which had its world premiere in 1762, tells the story of the great musician Orphée, who journeys to the underworld in search of his lost-love, Eurydice.

‘We are looking to give a very raw experience that concentrates on the music that is at the heart of the story. Orphée is a musician and that’s his tool, power and energy in the world, and so music and movement will be in the centre of the piece.’

Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez, who last performed with The Royal Opera in La Fille du régiment, will sing the role of Orphée; while Lucy Crowe, most recently Adina in L'elisir d'amore, performs Eurydice.

‘Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice is almost a monologue. There’s one man who has lost the love of his life, and it’s about his process of grieving,’ says John Fulljames. ‘We’re thrilled to be welcoming Juan Diego Flórez to sing Orphée, which is an extraordinarily difficult role. Gluck writes stratospherically high for the tenor voice, and so the character is really at the extremes of his voice as he struggles against the forces of the underworld to win back the love of his love, the wonderful Lucy Crowe.’

Orphée et Eurydice runs 14 September to 3 October. General booking opens on 14 July.

The production forms part of #HOFEST, a four-week festival showcasing the work of choreographer and musician Hofesh Shechter, and is staged with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet.


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