Last week, the English Pocket Opera Company collaborated with BA Performance Design and Practice to stage Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice around Central Saint Martins. The eight sets designed by BA students for the promenade show were praised as “stunning” by Susan Elkin, writing for The Stage.
Elkin also said: “It will be a long time before I forget the emotion of Paul Featherstone’s Orpheus singing the wonderful famous lament after losing Eurydice (Pamela Hay – lovely work) for the second time as huge spiral structures by Isabella Van Braeckel and Eimear Monaghan drop dismally to the ground around him.”
In Opera Today, Claire Seymour wrote: “The designs were fresh and interesting; these young, up-and-coming students approached the work without preconceptions about what opera design ‘should’ be, and there were some imaginative and striking visual images and effects.”
She notes the “noble grace” of Denise Dumitrescu’s funeral vault setting and describes Lucia Riley’s discarded shopping trolley as “a fitting emblem of misery and despair”. She also commends Robin Soutar’s Punch and Judy booth for “restor[ing] the sardonic, burlesque air of the opening scene”.