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Cheeky translation of ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ visits Lerwick

Gavan Ring as Pluto - Photos: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

A CONTEMPORARY version of one of Jacques Offenbach’s best know works, Orpheus in the Underworld, will visit Shetland, next month.

Part of a Scotland-wide tour, Scottish Opera will bring the production, newly translated by Scottish satirist Rory Bremner, to Lerwick’s garrison Theatre, on 12 October.

Originally created to satirise the government of Napoleon III’s France, here the action is updated to the present day poking fun at our media mad, celebrity-obsessed world.

Fed up with her boring husband Orpheus, a young and flighty Eurydice falls for the randy and devious Pluto and is soon caught up in a somewhat hellish situation.

Meanwhile, bored to tears and spying, an interesting situation unfolds. Public opinion muscles in to ‘help’ Orpheus rescue his wife.  But does she want to be rescued?

The Gods.

The ensemble cast features Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Marie Claire Breen and Ross McInroy, as well as 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World finalist Máire Flavin, and Nicholas Sharratt in the role of Orpheus.

Scottish Opera’s General Director Alex Reedijk said: “Distilling great opera down to a size that we can tour to smaller Scottish venues has been at the heart of what we do for 33 years.

“I’m pleased that we’re going back on the road this year with what’s promising to be a highly entertaining interpretation of this cheeky opera. We’re looking forward to see what people make of it!’

Orpheus in the Underworld is sung in English; running time is 2 hours (including 20 minute interval). Ticket can be booked via the Shetland Box office website at

Scottish Opera said that the production was not suitable for anybody under the age of 14 as it “does contain some bad language and risqué humour”.