Arrow down iconArrow left iconArrow right iconArrow up iconAudio iconBasket iconClose iconDocument iconExclamation mark iconMenu iconPhoto iconQuotation markQuote iconTick iconUser icon

The Corridor / The Cure

A double programme of chamber operas celebrates the work of Harrison Birtwistle, marking his 80th birthday.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of The Corridor / The Cure. It was last on stage 18–27 June 2015 as part of the Summer 2014/15 season.

The Story

Each work distills a moment in Classical mythology. In The Corridor Orpheus is leading his wife Eurydice from death into life. In The Cure the sorceress Medea applies her witchcraft to the aged Aeson, father of Jason, who is near death.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)


Harrison Birtwistle is one of the most significant figures in contemporary music. This double programme of his chamber operas features a new production of the acclaimed 2009 opera The Corridor, written to open the 62nd Aldeburgh Festival; and its newly-composed companion piece The Cure, a co-commission between The Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music and London Sinfonietta. Each is a collaboration with librettist David Harsent, who previously worked with Birtwistle on The Minotaur – and, like that work, each returns to Birtwistle's recurrent obsession with Classical mythology.

The Cure draws on an episode in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which Medea uses her powers to rebirth her lover's ageing father. In The Corridor Birtwistle focuses on the pivotal moment in the tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice. Birtwistle has described The Corridor 'as a single movement from the Orpheus story magnified, like a photographic blow-up… I've thought of it as virtuosic, close-up chamber theatre'.

News and features