Tag Archives: Beacon Arts Centre

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA YOUNG COMPANY PRESENTS GLUCK’S ORFEO & EURIDICE

Scottish Opera Young Company (formerly Connect Company) is returning to The Beacon in Greenock this April to perform one of Gluck’s most popular and enduring works: Orfeo & Euridice.

The Company, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, takes to the stage at The Beacon on April 6 and 7, following the success of its production of Dido and Aeneas there in 2017.

New Artistic Director Jonathon Swinard conducts the young performers, who are aged 16 to 23, and professional singers Daniel Keating-Roberts (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 2016) as Orfeo and Jessica Leary (Pop-up Opera 2018) as Euridice. A dancer from Dance Studio Scotland at Glasgow Clyde College also joins the cast. Opera and theatre director Caroline Clegg makes her Scottish Opera debut, and designer Finlay McLay (Dido and Aeneas 2017) returns as designer.

Based on the myth of Orpheus, Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice — at one moment full of fury, the next clear and pure — tells the tale of one man’s determination to defy the gods and rescue his lover from Hades. But can he resist temptation long enough to save her?

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach said: ‘Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice was a real game changer in terms of the narrative development of the art form of opera, as we recognise it today. As artistically revelatory and thought-provoking for audiences in 1774 as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is for contemporary theatre-goers, and featuring one of the loveliest and best known arias in the operatic repertoire (‘Che farò senza Euridice’), this might just be the ultimate, universal tale of boy meets girl, boy loses, and then finds girl again.’

Jonathon Swinard, Scottish Opera Young Company Artistic Director said: ‘It is a privilege to be the new Artistic Director of the Scottish Opera Young Company and I’m hugely looking forward to conducting Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice this April. Curiously, this piece was actually the first opera I ever worked on as a young repetiteur at the age of 18. Fast-forward a few years, and it is a lovely feeling to be rehearsing this work with the exceedingly talented members of the Scottish Opera Young Company, many of whom are also gaining their first real stage experience through this wonderful piece.’

Cast and Creative Team

 

Conductor     Jonathon Swinard

Director          Caroline Clegg

Designer        Finlay McLay

Orfeo             Daniel Keating-Roberts

Euridice          Jessica Leary

Dancer            Kay Davis

 

Performance diary

The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Sat 6 Apr, 7pm

Sun 7 Apr, 2pm

REVIEW: The Collection – Motherwell Theatre, Motherwell

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This article was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-collection-motherwell-theatre-motherwell/

Writer: Mike Cullen

Director: Michael Emans

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★½☆

Mike Cullen’s The Collection is a tale of desperation, conscience, poverty, avarice, inevitable tragedy and depressing relevance and resonance, despite being written almost twenty years ago. After ten years, Bob Lawson (Jimmy Chisholm) is at the top of his “profession”, something to be proud of you would think, well it would be, were it not for the fact that his “profession” is debt collection. But Lawson’s life is shattered forever when one of his female clients commits suicide. Charting the sordid dealings and the financially, morally and spiritually bankrupt characters who pass through the collection agency’s doors, this is a grim tale for our grim times.

The smell of testosterone and desperation hangs heavy in the air and Cullen’s work wears its influences on its sleeve: the gritty dialogue, grim humour and male egos at their worst, particularly in the interactions between the wholly repellent hard man Joe played with chilling detachment by David Tarkenter and naive new boy Billy (Tam Dean Burn) can’t help but remind one of the work of David Mamet.

The dialogue is, as expected raw, the humour black and the drama intense, however, there is an overwhelming sense of inevitability and predictability about the whole affair. The storyline, whilst compelling never fully develops: it makes no comment on the causes of debt nor does it offer any solutions or judgements, and the portrayal of women as easy victims, willing to sell themselves for “a mutually beneficial business agreement” is quite frankly, offensive.

The small cast of actors more than makes up for its faults though, and Jimmy Chisholm’s central performance as Lawson is flawless. Tam Dean Burn too, turns in a convincing portrayal of the eager to impress new employee Billy who, despite initial reservations, throws the conscience he once had to the wind, in order to impress his boss.

Nearing the end of a national tour, this company is a well-oiled machine, both the scene changes and the interactions between the actors are seamless, slick and well-honed. Entertainment it is not, rather it is an often bleak but utterly compelling portrayal of an all too real and hellishly common problem enacted by a hugely talented cast.