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Mark-Anthony Turnage / Steven Berkoff / Opera Ventures & Scottish Opera / Stuart Stratford / Joe Hill-Gibbins
5 - 6 August 2017
Festival Theatre

Unveiled to the UK at the Edinburgh International Festival, Greek is now a modern opera classic, lauded in productions across the world. Mark-Anthony Turnage’s blazing opera exploded onto the stage in 1988 – and overnight redefined what opera can be. Based on the in-your-face stage play by Steven Berkoff, Greek gives the ancient myth of Oedipus a contemporary resonance in which racism, police violence, strikes and inner city decay combine in an apocalyptic vision of a divided Britain.

Thuggish young Eddy is stuck in a rut. He longs for a life beyond his current lot. But when he’s told he’ll kill his father and sleep with his mother, he’s appalled, fleeing his grimy home for a shiny new life. But can he escape the coming cataclysm – or is he the trigger?

Turnage’s audacious score blends the brutal sounds of the streets with a touching lyrical tenderness, taking in influences from the jazz of Miles Davis to the chants of the football terraces, all bound together with his renowned muscular power.

This brand new staging is a co-production between Scottish Opera and Opera Ventures, a new UK charity dedicated to transforming the production of opera globally. Acclaimed young British baritone Alex Otterburn stars as grungy anti-hero Eddy, alongside revered British singers Susan Bullock, Allison Cook and Andrew Shore. Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts and the production is directed by the brilliantly inventive Young Vic Artistic Associate Joe Hill-Gibbins.

With its choked Cockney drawl and its demonic energy, Turnage’s Greek is aggressive, defiant and profane – an operatic blow to the stomach with all the fury of a pub brawl.

All the music's edges are still razor-sharp, with rap and free jazz cutting into the urban angst and wistful lyricism

The Telegraph

Turnage has become one of the most successful composers in Britain, if not the planet

The Telegraph

This production contains strong language

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70th Anniversary

Greek was co-commissioned by the International Festival and performed in the Leith Theatre in 1988.

  • Language: 
    Performed in English with English supertitles
  • Audio Described:
    6 Aug 5pm
  • Running time: 
    1hr 20mins approx (no interval)


Festival Theatre

13-29 Nicolson Street,

Supported by

Susie Thomson


  • Audio described
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    Libretto by Steven Berkoff from his play Greek. Adapted by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Jonathan Moore

    A new Opera Ventures and Scottish Opera co-production, co-presented with Edinburgh International Festival

    The Opera Ventures and Scottish Opera co-production of Greek has been made possible with support from Sarah Billinghurst and Howard Solomon, Alistair and Elizabeth Storey, and Denise Coates Foundation. With additional support from the KT Wong Foundation and the Boltini Trust

    Alex Otterburn Eddy
    Andrew Shore Dad, Café Manager, Chief of Police
    Susan Bullock Mum, Waitress 2, Sphinx 1
    Allison Cook Wife, Doreen, Waitress 1, Sphinx 2

    Stuart Stratford Conductor
    Joe Hill-Gibbins Director
    Jenny Ogilvie Movement director
    Johannes Schütz Set designer
    Alex Lowde Costume designer
    Matthew Richardson Lighting designer
    Caroline Steinbeis Dramaturg

    Soloists of The Orchestra of Scottish Opera

    More information about some of the artists

    Scottish Opera
    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Stuart Stratford

    Joe Hill-Gibbins

    Alex Otterburn

    Andrew Shore

    Susan Bullock
    Website | Twitter

    Allison Cook

    Greek | The Herald

    August 6th 2017

    What a radical work is Mark-Anthony Turnage's first opera […] even after thirty years ★★★★★

    Read the full rveiew here

    Review by: 

    Keith Bruce
    The Herald

    Greek | The Times

    August 7th 2017

    razor-sharp ★★★★★

    Read the full review here

    Review by: 

    Richard Morrison
    The Times

    Greek | The Guardian

    August 6th 2017

    forefronting the visceral and tender power of the text and music ★★★★

    Read the full review here

    Review by: 

    Kate Molleson
    The Guardian

    Greek | The Stage

    August 7th 2017

    bold and tacky ★★★★

    Read the full review here

    Review by: 

    Thom Dibdin
    The Stage

    Greek | The Financial Times

    August 7th 2017

    cockney opera mixes the baleful and the banal ★★★★

    Read the full review here

    Review by: 

    George Hall
    The Financial Times

    Greek | The Telegraph

    August 6th 2017

    it’s a bold, brave production, just as uncompromising as Turnage’s opera itself ★★★★

    Read the full review here

    Review by: 

    David Kettle
    The Telegraph

    Photo: Beth Chalmers

    This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book.

    The 2018 International Festival will be available to browse online in the spring.


    Dress circle: £36 £30 £28 £24 £20
    Stalls: £36 £30 £28 £24 £20
    Upper circle: £28 £24 £20

    Current discounts

    Students: 30% OFF
    Senior citizens: 30% OFF
    Unemployed: 30% OFF
    BECTU, Equity, MU: 30% OFF
    Under 18s: 50% OFF
    Young Scot cardholders: 50% OFF