As with much of his work, both are based on classical mythology. The Corridor, first performed at 2009’s Aldeburgh Festival, takes as it subject the tragic meeting of Orpheus and Eurydice in the underworld, while The Cure – newly co-commissioned by the Royal Opera – follows a section of Ovid’s Metamorphosis in which Medea violently grants Jason’s father a new life. These two scenes, possessed of a gripping dramatic intensity, seem to offer Birtwistle a fitting canvas on which to paint in his typically bold colours. T.S. Eliot prize-winning poet David Harsent, who also collaborated with Birtwistle on The Minotaur, wrote both librettos.
Birtwistle’s music, which initially drew inspiration from Stravinsky and Messiaen, can be terrifying in its brute ferocity. Often fixated on a single musical idea that is then transformed and set against other phrases, it can become mesmeric. Visitors to Linbury should expect a spirited, emotionally potent experience.
|What||The Cure & The Corridor, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
18 Jun 15 – 27 Jun 15, 7:45 PM – 10:15 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House|