Orpheus X

This article is from 2007.

A wholly contemporary take on the classical myth with rock gods

It is a brave man who takes on the darkest echelons of the underworld, electric guitar in hand. For performer and composer Rinde Eckert it was like poetry in motion.

‘I love all the Greek myths but at the same time they frustrate and bemuse me,’ explains the award-winning performer. ‘Characters like Orpheus and Eurydice just seemed to offer up so much potential.’

Eckert’s adaptation of the story, produced in collaboration with the American Repertory Theater, finds Orpheus as a famous singer, locked up in his recording studio, obsessed with rescuing the poet Eurydice from the underworld. Eckert’s Orpheus may have all the posturing of a modern-day Rock God but the actor is reluctant for the music-driven play to be brandished with the rock musical tag.

‘There are elements but it’s also about putting that together with more classic traditions of storytelling. It’s about entertainment but it is also about having something to say that is going to hit a nerve.’

If Eckert has concerns about offending opera snobs with his contemporary spin, he offers no apologies. ‘What can I say? I’m a refugee from opera.’
(Anna Millar)

Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 0131 473 2000, 25–29 Aug, 8pm, £10–£25.

Orpheus X

An extremely modern re-telling of the classic tale, with rock music and striking video imagery. Rock star Orpheus shuts himself in his room obsessing over the beautiful poet Eurydice who was killed in a car accident. Can he rescue her from the Underworld? Does she want to be rescued? 'Part of the Edinburgh International…

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