the corridor

The Corridor re-tells a single, pivotal moment. Orpheus has descended into the underworld to bring back his wife Eurydice, on one condition: he can’t turn and look at her during the return journey. She has almost reached freedom when he decides that he can’t wait any longer to see if she has followed him, and turns back. This story has been told many times, in many different ways, but always from Orpheus’ perspective.
An opera by HARRISON BIRTWISTLE
January 2018, New College Chapel
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In the history of the Orpheus-Eurydice myth, Eurydice is too often silenced. The Corridor takes a different approach, and gives her a voice with which to express her reaction to her experiences; it gives her agency. This production’s feminist reading of the myth, alongside its use of immersive theatre practices, opened the opera up to enjoyment by a more diverse audience. The venue - a 14th century chapel with a wall of statues - provided an almost unearthly setting for the production, and allowed for proximity between the audience, seated in the pews, and the performers.

The work itself, a more modern piece by Harrison Birtwistle, had not been performed since its debut in 2009; this production not only gave a voice to Eurydice but allowed a piece which would otherwise have gone unperformed to reach a new audience.