The opera is based on the well known story of the Minotaur kept in the labyrinth in Crete, who is sent a cargo of innocents from Athens as an annual sacrifice, and is slain by Theseus. The monster’s half sister Ariadne helps Theseus by giving him a ball of twine so that he can find his way out of the labyrinth, on the understanding that he will then take her back to Greece to become his wife.
The opera had its premiere at the Royal Opera House in 2008.
John Tomlinson was playing the Minotaur, reprising the role which he first sang in the 2008 performances of the opera, and also marking the 35th anniversary of his debut at Covent Garden.
Ariadne was sung by Christine Rice
Theseus was sung by Johan Reuter
Conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth
The opera is in two parts, and has an exciting score with much use of percussion, needing extra players in the side balconies. The singing was excellent, as would be expected from the starry cast, and the conductor brought the best out of the orchestra, in what must be a difficult score, especially as he had to stand in for Antonio Pappano, the Opera House’s principal conductor, who was originally scheduled to conduct.
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