Ingenious in construction and inventive in its staging, the opera recounts the doomed story of Orpheus and Eurydice, a theme running through this year's ENO season, with four very different operas on the same subject.
In great contrast to the jokey Orpheus in the Underworld of Jacques Offenbach which open the ENO season, Birtwistle's serious and through-provoking work employs a split stage and three different versions of the the three main characters – the couple and Aristaeus, who seduces Eurydice. Each is represented not only by a singer, but also by a mime and a puppet.
Marta Fontanals-Simmons who took the title role in Monstrous Child at the ROH, above, sings Eurydice at ENO. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey
Tenor Peter Hoare sings Orpheus at ENO
The Mask of Orpheus is on 18, 25, 29 Oct; 7, 13 Nov. It is sung in English with English surtitles. Under-18s go free in the Balcony at some performances, but the production is only suitable for 16+. There is a pre-performance talk on 25 Oct
|What||Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera|
|Where||English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
19 Oct 19 – 13 Nov 19, Five performances, times vary. Running time: 3hr 20min
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|