“Orfeo” Redux: What to Expect

Sharon O'Brien

If you were lucky enough to see Marigny Opera Ballet’s amazing “Orfeo” last season, you may well wonder if the reprise can recapture the magic of the original.

Choreographer Maya Taylor, composer Tucker Fuller, conductor Francis Scully and producer Dave Hurlbert are betting that it can. Having three new dancers in the cast is allowing them to see the “Orfeo”  with fresh eyes, inspiring some tweaks within the work that make it even stronger.

Four dancers from last season’s critically acclaimed “Orfeo” are back to reprise their roles – Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg, Gretchen Erickson, Ashlie Russell, and John Bozeman. According to Taylor, “Gretchen will be sharing the role of Proserpina with Kellis in Act II and Ashlie will be stepping into the role of one of Eurydice’s friends in Act I alongside her incredible work as a Shade in Act II.”

New to “Orfeo” are leads Joshua Bell and Lauren Guynes who joined the company at the beginning of this season. “I love what they are doing with their roles as Orfeo and Eurydice. They are beautiful, powerful artists who portray their characters in the most open, honest and heartbreaking way.” Taylor says.

As for guest artist Edward Spots — double cast as the Serpent and Pluto – “he absolutely blows me away every time he steps on stage. I’ve added more choreography to his roles as I want to see him dance as much as possible.”

Although most of the choreography remains the same, Taylor says that she’s added more technically demanding movement. “I learn so much from every work I choreograph and reworking some of this movement has definitely allowed me to push the movement and the dancers to a new and exciting place.”

 

Performances of “Orfeo” are scheduled at the Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St. on Friday, Apr. 14- Sunday Apr. 16. Tickets $35/$25 (students and seniors) are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2592575 or at the door. Additional information: www.marignyoperahouse.org.