Scottish Opera's Orfeo ed Euridice, Festival Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
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Scottish Opera
Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orfeo ed Euridice
Caitlin Hulcup (Orfeo); Lucy Hall (Euridice); Ana Quintans (Amore) ; Kenneth Montgomery (Conductor); Ashley Page (Director/Choreographer); Johan Engels (Designer); Johan Engels (Designer); Mark Jonathan (Lighting)
Running time

Straightaway we see Orfeo and Euridice frolicking, but then Euridice is taken ill and dies. Orfeo is heartbroken but by the time the interval comes he has been told by goddess of love Amore, a lookalike for Grace Kelly, that there is a way of getting her back from the underworld. But with a complication which unravels in the second half. Does he, or doesn't he, comply.

It's a compelling story which could be very sombre. But not so in this Scottish Opera production with its use of changing warm colours for the revolving acrylic-like box which takes centre place - and more importantly the very considerable use of dancers. Ashley Page is not only the director but brings his Scottish Ballet expertise to the choreography of eight dancers and a chorus whose performance took us from one story line to the next.

Reminding us just how dreadful it is in Hades, the Furies were in latex red space suits determined there will be no way in for Orfeo. Their glowing eyes added to the fun. At other times we saw a formally attired cast of the 1950's era.

Scottish Opera have used the version first performed in 1762 in Vienna but fortunately included the Dance of the Furies and the Dance of the Blessed Spirits, which Gluck had added when he took the Opera to Paris in 1774.

This was a thoroughly competent and enjoyable experience to be recommended for its two remaining Edinburgh evenings.

Performance: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at 7.15pm. Further performances on Thursday 5th March at 7.15pm and Saturday 7th March at 7.15pm