One of New Zealand’s most acclaimed choreographers, Michael Parmenter, returns to the Festival with the world premiere season of OrphEus – a dance opera, a bold new work with The New Zealand Dance Company. 

Parmenter has drawn on a ravishing musical score, including Rameau and Charpentier, reflecting a period during which the ancient Greek hero invoked a harmonious cosmos and a hierarchical political order. Since then, Orpheus has come to represent art’s power to transcend suffering and death.

In this richly layered, epic dance work, Parmenter brings these contending perspectives into conflict and dialogue. OrphEus confronts the power of music and voice in both the personal and the political realms, revealing, in this familiar story of love and loss, the tensions between seduction and restraint, harmony and disorder.

Combining the power of dance, live music and theatre, Parmenter’s incredible vision is brought to life by The New Zealand Dance Company, performing alongside Grammy Award–winning American tenor Aaron Sheehan, baroque ensemble Latitude 37 and special guests.

Through the lens of this mythic yet deeply personal tragedy, OrphEus thrillingly stages the eternal challenge of the artist – to seek the familiar or venture into dangerous uncharted territory.

Co-produced by the New Zealand Festival, Auckland Arts Festival and The New Zealand Dance Company

For more information, visit the NZDC website.

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"Sublime and deeply satisfying; a rich fusion of dance and song, narrative and design, music and deep emotion" on New Zealand Herald.

"You can tell when a show is masterful. When it has grabbed the audience and excited them en masse. Michael Parmenter’s OrphEus is one such show. Quite simply, it’s unmissable" on 13th Floor.

Friday 16 Mar
Saturday 17 Mar

Pre-show Artist Talk: Sat 17 Mar, 6.30pm, Opera House, Dress Circle Foyer

Opera House

2hrs (incl. interval)

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