Opera tragedy set to challenge the mind and thrill the senses

Lyric Opera of Melbourne will draw audiences into a powerful drama set in a place of profound human despair and tortured love with its production of C.W. Gluck’s Iphigénie, coming to Chapel Off Chapel from September 1st.

Presenting a dark, yet reflective story of human nature at its most extreme and based on the play Iphigénie en Tauride by Euripides, the piece examines the nature of violence and the struggle between civic responsibility, family duty and human morality.

The story follows Iphigénie, a high priestess of the goddess Diana, living far from her native homeland due to her near sacrifice at the hands of her warmongering father, Agamemnon. Faced with her imprisonment and the isolation of living as a foreigner in a strange land, Iphigénie is duty bound to kill any outsider who comes to the island. She is confronted with the ultimate dilemma when her brother Orestes is discovered washed up after a storm.

Nathan Gilkes, director of Lyric Opera of Melbourne, said the piece examines what it is like to hold your own in the face of great trial and pressure.

“This opera places Iphigénie in the most unlikely of scenarios. It’s the ultimate test for her humanity – she has to decide to save herself or her family. It’s extremely powerful and questions the woman’s role in a patriarchal society,” he says.

Featuring a typically intriguing cast of characters from Greek mythology, this production showcases the talents of operatic mezzo soprano artist and Opera Australia alumni Caroline Vercoe in the title role.

Fellow operatic artists include Paul Biencourt, Michael Lampard, Bruce Raggatt and Angela Hogan. The production will also feature a 12 piece orchestra who will appear on stage to perform Gluck’s unique composition.

Pat Miller, musical director and conductor for Lyric Opera, is excited to present this “masterpiece made modern”.

“In a world where opera is often rightly perceived as irrelevant and inaccessible, we are turning to Gluck’s revolutionary masterpiece to show that opera can be raw, accessible and powerful. This is opera where the pain of despair will tear at your soul through the power of the human voice.”

The production will run for five shows from September 1 to 7 at Chapel Off Chapel, commencing at 2pm on Sunday, 6:30pm on Monday and 7:30pm for the remainder of the season. Tickets are priced at $48 for adults, $38 for concession, $30 for under 35s and groups of 10 or more, $25 for students and $20 for children under 15. Lyric Opera will also hold a $20 student night on Monday 2 September.

For more information and booking details call (03) 8290 7000 or visit www.chapeloffchapel.com.au Find Chapel Off Chapel at 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran.

You can pledge your support for Lyric Opera and its 2013/14 opera season by visiting www.pozible.com/project/30320


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