Toronto Masque Theatre presents two deeply moving versions of the quintessential story of the power of love and music: Orpheus’s journey to the underworld to rescue his beloved Eurydice.
Join us for two versions of the classic tale, as told through music, dance and drama. One presentation is baroque and the other contemporary; both are charming, poignant and redemptive.
La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers (1686) by Marc-Antoine Charpentier is a chamber opera telling of the young poet and musician, Orpheus, who plays and sings so sweetly that the very trees bend to hear him and the stern gods of Hades are moved to release his wife to a second life. Based on Ovid’s telling of the myth in his Metamorphoses.
Orpheus and Eurydice (2003) by Canadians James Rolfe (music) and André Alexis (libretto) is a fresh and touching retelling of this ancient story. The challenge set for Rolfe and Alexis was to write for the same instrumentation (violins, recorders, viola da gambas, cello, lute, harpsichord and organ) and voices (sopranos, countertenor, tenors, bariotones) as Charpentier.
Featuring tenor Lawrence Wiliford, sopranos Shannon Mercer, Teri Dunn and Agnes Zsigovics and baritone Alexander Dobson.
Directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, with dance performances by guest artists from Montreal.
Period ensemble conducted from the violin by Artistic Director Larry Beckwith.
As a special feature, artistic director Larry Beckwith and Dr. Katie Larson will lead an informative (and informal) pre-show discussion, starting 45 minutes before the curtain (7:15pm).