Text by CLOT Magazine
Persephone was the Greek goddess of vegetation and grain. Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, mother of Dionysos, and wife of Hades, with whom she rules the Underworld, she was seen as a protectress in the afterlife. Persephone was worshipped throughout the Greek world and frequently appeared in all forms of Greek art. Her death was similar to her half-brother, Ares. They were both impaled, had their last words before dying, and their bodies exploded.
Taking the story of Persephone Goddess as starting point Persephone’s Dream is a digital/live hybrid opera that tells a story of withdrawal from the world. Unpicking the rites of hibernation and exploring whether, in our waking sleep, we can still yearn, struggle, resist – be human. Persephone’s Dream explores the purifying power and danger of isolation. It interrogates the threshold between suspension and action, the real and the imagined and asks if the dream is good – why wake?
Performed by a fusion of real, biodegradable solo cast members (Anna Braithwaite, Clare O’Connell, Gavin Alexander) and a virtual online Chorus of Curious Eyes, Persephone’s Dream uses Zoom to create an opera chorus and living operatic backdrop where the performers inhabit both live and online spaces and perform to living room and theatre audiences at the same time is a world first. The opera was created in lockdown as a direct response to the challenges of living in an unfamiliar and withdrawn social environment.
Persephone’s Dream will be presented as part of the Tête â Tête: The Opera Festival on 18 September 2020 in London.