IT IS a production which has generated much attention, been widely praised by critics and has already been nominated for an award.
Now it is a Huddersfield audience’s turn to see what it makes of the latest work from Cardiff-based Music Theatre Wales, a production which is called simply, Greek.
This is a new production of
Mark-Anthony Turnage’s vivid re-working of the Oedipus myth, a piece which is fast becoming seen as a modern classic.
It opens at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on Wednesday where it is scheduled for one performance as part of an extended autumn tour.
Difficult to believe perhaps, but the piece was first commissioned by Hans Werner Henze for the Munich Biennale in 1988.
Turnage, a young composer, based it on a blistering play by Steven Berkoff and set it against the backdrop of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.
Music Theatre Wales’ new production of Greek could scarcely have been more timely.
Earlier this year, Turnage’s latest opera, Anna Nicole, was premiered at the Royal Opera House.
In Greek, Turnage created a score that includes a vast array of musical reference. It runs from football chants through snatches of jazz and rock to passages of sheer lyricism.
The result was to catapult the composer on to the international scene.
Within 18 months of its premiere, the opera was presented by the Edinburgh Festival, on BBC TV and by ENO, and has since been seen across the world.
Now 23 years on, it has been restaged for a new audience and Michael McCarthy’s production has been nominated by Theatre Awards UK for the Outstanding Achievement in Opera award.
Michael Rafferty conducts the Music Theatre Wales Ensemble and the cast includes baritone Marcus Farnsworth as Eddy, the opera’s seedy, restless protagonist.
Soprano Sally Silver sings the role of Mum, mezzo Louise Winter is Wife and baritone Gwion Thomas sings the role of Dad.
In keeping with the production’s mood of rough physicality, they also play a number of other roles. The opera is designed by Simon Banham, with lighting by Ace McCarron.
The opera is set in the 1980s in the East End of London. The plagues that beset the city are unemployment, racism and police violence.
Greek’s seedy, boozy central character Eddy is stuck in a rut and longs for more.
When his dad tells him that a fortune teller once predicted that he would kill his father and marry his mother, Eddy decides he’s had enough and leaves home to find love in the unlikely form of the wife of a man he kicks to death.
Little does he know that 10 years later he will discover his true identity, with tragic consequences.
The show opened in Brecon in Wales in July then went to festivals at Cheltenham and Buxton. It is now on an extended autumn tour.
Tickets for the LBT performance are £15 to £19 from the box office on 01484 435028 and online at www.thelbt.org.
Wednesday’s LBT performance is the only one in Yorkshire.