In January 2018, 472 staged Birtwistle's opera The Corridor in New College Chapel, Oxford. Directed by 472 Associated Director, Sean Kelly.
Stealing a snapshot from the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, this production is a unique piece of operatic theatre that seeks to offer a relatable and demystifying approach to opera as a narrative medium that is enjoyable by hardened opera veterans and newbies alike.
The Corridor relates a single moment.
First, the background: Orpheus and Eurydice have wed. It was a joyous occasion. Eurydice has died. It was heart-wrenching. Orpheus, destroyed, has decided that he cannot accept this sequence of events. He has journeyed to Hades to retrieve his beloved, striking a deal with the gods of the dead that he may bring her back to the world of the living only if he does so without turning to look at her during the return journey. They have nearly completed their journey.
Now, our moment: Orpheus turns and looks at Eurydice.
In the history of the Orpheus-Eurydice myth, Eurydice is too often silenced. This is a work which gives her a voice with which to express her experience, her criticism, her story. This production, through a feminist reading of the myth and immersive theatre practices, will explore the way that our points of view, our lived experiences, and who we are, matter.
Director - Sean Kelly
Musical Director/Conductor - Hannah Schneider
Producer - Emilia Clark
Executive Producer - Amy Thompson
Marketing Managers - Laurie Sanderson and Fani Ntavelou-Baum
Associate Marketing Manager - Alice Bate
Lighting Design - Seb Dows-Miller
Assistant Lighting Design - Sarah Wallace
Design - Thomas Robertson
Graphic Design - Fran Csongrady
Eurydice: Hannah McDermott
Orpheus: Harry O'Neill
Cello: Andrew Snell
Clarinet: Dan Mort
Flute: Eleanor Blamires
Harp: Aoife Miralles
Viola: Jules Hedges
Violin: Charles Lovell-Jones