CineMart catch-up: Orphée | L'Amour | Eurydice
31 January 2022
In Orphée | L'Amour | Eurydice, Robin Coops and Avinash Changa retell the tragic myth of Orphée et Eurydice through a hybrid opera that includes VR, all inspired by Gluck's operatic masterpiece. But in this version Eurydice isn’t cast back into the chasm after Orphée turns back to check on her whereabouts. Rather she is given a choice, and one that she chooses to exercise. She may still love him…she just doesn’t want to remain with him.
The project was pitched at CineMart 2021 with a budget of €350,000, then with a mere €15,000 in place. Just over a year later, on February 18, the hybrid opera will enjoy its world premiere (Covid-permitting) in Enschede, before travelling to five Dutch cities, spread over five weeks, including from 5 to 7 March at Dutch National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam. Produced and created by multi-disciplinary artist Robin Coops (M31 Foundation) and ‘VR evangelist’ Avinash Changa (WeMakeVR), the project is made in association with the Dutch National Opera, the Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid.
Robin stresses how the very business of pitching at CineMart 2021 enabled the pair to enhance the project itself. “Even while you are talking, you're building the project further…you have to formalise, you have to find the right words to present the work in that sense,” he says. “To build the work through dialogue, that was the most important experience.”
Avinash agrees, adding that the process of talking and building galvanised them, hastening the process of getting the project to market. “It puts you in a very practical mindset. Initially, when we were thinking about this project, we were thinking more long-term, 2022 for development, 2023 for the actual release. But getting into this mindset… it's like, okay, could we actually do this quicker? Could we be more pragmatic in making this? And then once you then get into these conversations with your actual production partners who are ‘can we do this now?’, then you're ready to go… So I would say the whole process with CineMart was very beneficial to get to that right state of mind.”
All things being well, the immersive experience will world premiere February 18 in a former aircraft hangar. “The good thing about that of course, is that it allows us to do the largest version of the piece. We have different sizes with different capacities. This is the XL version, and that is the version that we have envisioned in its largest [form],” says Avinash.
There are of course plans for international roll-out as well, for which Robin says there is much interest.
“We feel like O|A|E would be very interesting to show in other countries because…it touches upon different languages. It's such a theme, which is so broad and recognisable for everyone…It will be really a pity if we could not make that last step to go international eventually.”
Avinash agrees: “Thematically it's so universal. It resonates across cultures and across original boundaries. This is a piece that can and should travel and that's the way we designed it.”
Those people who have the glasses on become almost part of the choreography.
Rotterdam artist Robin Coops introduces his project in the Immersive selection at the 2021 CineMart
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