Picture this: it’s your wedding day, you’re getting married to the man of your dreams, and everything is perfect. Fast forward a couple of hours; you’re getting ready for some sexy-time with your now husband, but instead you get bitten by a snake and you die, so you’re sent to the Underworld to chill with Hades and Persephone. That’s the basic plot line of the famous Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice.
If that story didn’t get you right where it hurts, this one might; you’ve been in love with the same girl all your life, but you’re not allowed to marry her. So she gets shipped off to a different country to marry someone else. You spend your whole life trying to find her, but she dies before you get to her. That’s basically the story of the Eastern version of Romeo and Juliet; Layla and Majnun.
It’s all so tragic.
What would happen if you took those two stories and joined them into one tragically epic love story? Valletta 2018’s Orfeo & Majnun does just that, all wrapped up into one exciting piece of music theatre.
Written from the perspectives of Layla and Eurydice, this emotional performance brings professional performers and musicians together with a chorus who will be manoeuvring some impressive animal puppets and shadow puppets. The performance will be narrated by Malta’s very own Clare Agius Sparling.
Orfeo & Majnun will be performed at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta on the 19th and 20th October, and you can buy tickets here. And, on top of this exciting performance, there’s also going to be an exciting parade in Valletta on the 27th October that will showcase the work of band club members, musicians, storytellers, dancers, choirs and more following a series of workshops where the performers were taught how to build and use animal puppets. Sfilata fil-Kapitali will see a whole menagerie of animal puppets animated by participants as they stroll through the streets of Valletta. Participants will cover the entire capital city, meeting surprises in the form of song, dance, short performances, storytelling, music-making, bands and many other forms of artistic expression. Renowned local personalities will also be present on the day at Pjazza Teatru Rjal for Min Imissu and Klassi Għalina.
This touring international project has already had a successful run in Belgium and France earlier this year. Now it’s Malta’s turn before it heads to Vienna in Austria and Krakow in Poland in 2019 Orfeo & Majnun is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. It is being organised in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv, La Monnaie, Le Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft, Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe, Operadagen Rotterdam, Santa Maria da Feira.