A double-bill of works in progress. Love stories from ancient mythology, two short operatic pieces that explore similar themes and reach into the past for their characters and stories.
Jeff Spencer's 'Eros and Psyche' is based on the old Greek characters of Eros (Cupid) and Psyche (his wife) and set in the 1950s long after the original myth finishes... they have now been married for some time. The opera explores the timeless theme of love – from early infatuation, to the thrill of forbidden love, to the humdrum, abiding love that grows between two people who chose to spend a lifetime together. These stages are reflected in the feelings and words of Eros and Psyche as they sing to themselves, argue with each other and yearn for a modern woman (who narrates the piece) with whom they are both a little in love.
Danyal Dhondy's 'Quys and Laila' is based on a timeless tragedy of undying love. It has been told in many guises and many languages, across continents and centuries. Often known as the Arabic 'Romeo and Juliet', it is here set in the rich yet restrictive society of modern Dubai, and explores through contemporary operatic language, themes of social status, wealth, patriarchy, repression, and the many forms that love can take.