The Mask of Orpheus, The Coliseum - ★★★★★ - Until November 13, 2019


If you are looking for a linear plot and long melodic lines, this is probably not your cup of nectar. This gigantic opera by Harrison Birtwistle uses the Orpheus myth as its basis, but his score and libretto give director, Daniel Kramer, the scope to let his sense of invention run free. This is a wildly imaginative, multi-layered look at the story and musically it ranges from coloratura to squeaks and grunts. There are also interludes of electronic music to punctuate the story accompanied by mimed action and gaudy parade. Indeed, the ENO production is quite dazzling with projections, challenging choreography and even aerial artists. Daniel Lismore's costumes were wonderfully unbelievable and outlandish, with incredible frocks frequently spattered with crystal encrustations. All of the performances are brilliantly sung, but Peter Hoare stands out in the phenomenally difficult role as Orpheus the Man, and his singing is simply sensational. Kudos also to Martyn Brabbins who musically directs huge orchestral forces with incredible panache and creates some quite wonderful sound pictures. This is a challenging feast for the eye and the ear. It is, however, work which definitely deserves to be seen and heard by all adventurous theatre-goers.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until November 13, 2019
Oct 25, 29 & Nov 7, 13 at 7:30 pm
The Coliseum
Nearest station: Charing Cross

Most Popular

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

Naked Boys Singing, The Garden Theatre at The Eagle - ★★★★ - Until October 25, 2020

The Last Caravaggio ★★★★ The National Gallery | Apr 18 - Jul 21, 2024 (Free Entry)

London Tide ★★★ National Theatre | Apr 10 - Jun 22, 2024

Howerd's End, Golden Goose Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until October 31, 2020

Calendar Girls ★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Apr 11 - Jun 1, 2024

Your Lie In April – The Musical in Concert ★★★★★ Theatre Royal Drury Lane | April 8 & 9, 2024

Player Kings ★★★★★ Noël Coward Theatre | Apr 1 - Jun 22, 2024

Foam ★★★★ Finborough Theatre | Mar 19 - Apr 13, 2024

The Comeuppance ★★★★★ Almeida Theatre | Apr 6 - May 18, 2024

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings