LIVE REVIEW: Radius Opera: The Fire Of Olympus – Todmorden Hippodrome – 9th November 2019

0
24

Zeus (Robert Glyndwr Garland) complacently addresses his people. But he is not as secure in his power as he thinks. Troublemakers Prometheus (Sophie Dicks) and Epimetheus (Elspeth Marrow) have got in. What is more, he is in for trouble with his flunkies. Hephaestus (Michael Vincent Jones), a police chief who can dish it out but not take it, resents Zeus’ bullying. He lets Epimetheus escape. And when Zeus tells ambitious assistant Pandora (Charlotte Hoather) to go and set a honeytrap for Epimetheus, she realises how little he really thinks of her. Her gorgeous angry aria ends Act 1.

In the end Zeus is replaced by humans, but the fire is still out there.

The opera was composed by Tim Benjamin, who also combined with Anthony Peter to write the libretto. It is mainly in eighteenth century style, though the music for the rebels is freer and more expressive. The orchestra, under music director Ellie Slorach, consisted of strings and oboes. A strong cast of singers was supported by a “chorus of a thousand voices”, recorded from several choirs. Sometimes singing and sometimes speaking, they give a sense of the latent power of the people.

A powerful work with a strong message.