Forest Collective to premiere 'Orpheus'

Posted on: 27/12/2018 11:00AM

New ballet-opera OrpheusTo celebrate a new year of creation and collaboration, Forest Collective begins 2019 with Orpheus on January 31 - February 3. Presented as part of Midsumma Festival at iconic arts precinct Abbotsford Convent, Orpheus is a new ballet-opera written by Artistic Director Evan Lawson, with choreography by VCA graduate Ashley Dougan. 


The famous Orpheus myth has been used in opera many times. While most works focus on the journey to Hades and his relationship with Eurydice, Forest Collective explores the unheard stories of the characters left behind by the great men in ancient mythology. Lawson’s Orpheus encompasses this part of the story, but also includes lesser-known parts of the Orpheus myth that focus on his male lover, Calais, while journeying with the Argonauts. The opera is structured into four elements — one focused on Calais, one on Eurydice, one on the journey to Hades and the final section, where Orpheus is murdered while trying to reunite with Calais.


The work will be performed by the 12-member ensemble of Forest Collective, including core-mezzo soprano Kate Bright as Eurydice. Three dancers physicalise the sung expressions of the three singers. These dancers are Dougan, Pia Lauritz and Luke Fryer.


As a new ballet-opera exploring the story of Orpheus and paying equal attention to his love of men and women, this story will engage members of the LGBTQI community, those interested in classics and mytholody, and opera fans alike. 


For more information, visit


Photo: Ashley Dougan. Photo by Meghan Scerri.



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