“Come……..Why stand here suffering? Give your life over to love and pleasure.”
Poor Orpheus. He and his lover were doomed from the start. But Mrs Oz and I were happy to give our lives over to pleasure for two hours or so and to hell with the consequences. The music was magical (but then your correspondent must acknowledge form as one of Haydn’s true believers). The singing was pure delight. No surprise here. This is Pinchgut’s signature. What raised the evening even further above the ordinary were some of the small touches: the ever present, mute, trio (were they the Fates, or Avatars?). The forest of pipework with its reference to subterranean plumbing. The fluorescent tinges of colour on hand and neck as the chorus grew their fiendish purposes. The subtle (or not so subtle) eroticism of the Bacchante women, disrobing as they tempted Orpheus, and their unsubtle squabbling over their target’s shirt, hinting at many a pop-star nightmare. Perhaps we could have done without the lightning as the final storm engulfed all before it. The music and wind machine alone contained sufficient grim foreboding, without further effects. But this is a minor quibble.
There were many highs along the way to death and final blackout, but perhaps the greatest was the wonderful singing of the women as the chorus opened act three: “Ah, unhappy husband”. A pity they went under in the end.
At least we made it through to our “ island of delights” where memories of the Singer of Thrace and his lover will surely enhance the future.
If you missed it, a DVD is in production.