Mark-Anthony Turnage’s blazing opera 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.
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.
Photo: Beth Chalmers
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