Playing with Orpheus
In 1956 the play Orfeu da Conceição (Orpheus of the conception) premiered in Rio de Janeiro. Written by Vinicius de Moraes, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim, and stage setting by Oscar Niemeyer, the play has proved an inspiration to many other artists, and is the basis for films like Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus, 1959) and Orfeu (1999), and for the musicals Orfeu (Brazil, 2010) and Black Orpheus (Broadway, 2014).
The play sets the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a contemporary favela in Rio de Janeiro during the Brazilian Carnival. Taking its cue from de Moraes’s re-imagining of this Greek myth, this evening will add to the tradition of ‘playing with Orpheus’. Performers will re-enact Orfeu da Conceição, dialoguing it with Monteverdi’s Orpheus and Brazilian capoeira and other rhythms. This dynamic evening will involve singers, actors, dancers, the King’s Brazil Ensemble and invited musicians, and, of course, the audience, who will also be invited to play with Orpheus.
Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho is a Lecturer at the Brazil Institute.
Ananya Kabir is a literary and cultural historian in the Department of English, and director of Modern Moves, a five year research project funded by an ERC Advanced Grant.
David Treece is a Professor of Portuguese in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.
Felipe Botelho is Lecturer in Brazilian, Portuguese and Lusophone African Studies.
Frederick Moehn is Senior Lecturer in Music.
Joseph Fort is the College Organist and Director of the Chapel Choir, and Lecturer in Music.