Posts Tagged ‘Pina Bausch’

Iphigenie auf Tauris Sadlers Wells 31 October

November 3, 2010


The useful sheet of A4 we got with the completely uninformative programme described this both as ‘An opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck’ and ‘A dance-opera by Pina Bausch’.  And indeed singers sang from the ends of the second circle near the stage while dancers danced on it and players played in front of it.

The plot was perhaps rather complex to convey in surtitle-less German singing, and the explanation of Iphigenie dreaming both that Clytaemnestra killed Agamemnon (which has happened) and Iphigenie herself killing Orestes (which doesn’t happen) didn’t really help matters.

The dance involved quite a lot of dancers holding their arms in poses reminiscent of ancient pictures of dancing and also Thoas madly slapping himself on the arms.

At the interval, my companion asked why Orestes didn’t just say who he was (or sing or dance who he was perhaps) and let us go home an hour earlier.  I suggested various reasons, while skirting round the obvious one that recognition scenes were something that Euripides did quite well really (for a total bungler).

Towards the end, a young girl slowly strewed the kitchen table on which Orestes was to be sacrificed with flowers, and then a ladder was brought on, which procedure led to the people sitting behind us corpsing totally (though they certainly tried hard to suppress it).

I think my problem here was that there was just too much plot going on that was hard to understand…

Euridice (Peri/Oliver) and Iphigenie auf Tauris (Gluck/Bausch)

June 1, 2010

Picture of Eurydice being led by Orpheus

British Youth Opera are putting on a Euridice at the Peacock Theatre on Wednesday 8 September and Saturday 11 September.  They describe it thus:

Based on the Orpheus myth that fascinated
renaissance artists and musicians, Euridice
weaves the translucent 16th-century vocal
writing of the first ever opera composer, Jacopo
Peri, into a distinctively modern opera by
Stephen Oliver.

Marking the 60th anniversary of Oliver’s birth,
this new semi-staged production is performed
with a cast of eighteen singers and an on stage
ensemble of eight players, creating an enthralling
piece of theatre combining old with new, ideally
suited to a cast of young singers.

Apparently Peri’s Euridice was premiered in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, on 6 October 1600…

Picture of Iphigenia among the Taurians

Meanwhile (in fact, rather later) Sadlers Wells is offering Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch–Iphigenie auf Tauris on 27, 28, 30 and 31 October.  As far as I can make out, this is the opera by Gluck, except that the singers are stationed at the sides of the stage, leaving it clear for the dancers; details here.