Oh, cursed family, forever damned! Until its last descendants, heaven will pursue its crimes …
Drawn from the Greek mythology of the Atreidae and based upon Euripides’ account, Iphigénie en Tauride premiered late in Christoph Willibald Gluck’s career, in Paris, 1779. It explores the stories of Iphigenia and Orestes, their lives clouded by the shadows of their parents, and forever altered by the devastation of the past, which threatens to pursue their present. Yet this opera isn’t just the story of one family, at one point in time. On a universal scale, Iphigénie invites us to consider the cyclical nature of violence, and asks how we may disrupt these cycles in the world around us.
The Cooperative is a young opera company/social justice project which is currently delighted and grateful to call South Sydney Uniting Church home. Founded in 2019 with a mission to create opera to inspire social change, The Cooperative believes passionately in increasing opera’s accessibility, through pay-as-you-feel entry and by taking the art form out of a traditional context and into the world around us.
Our inaugural production of Menotti’s The Consul premiered in late February 2020 – two weeks before Covid-19 forced widespread arts cancellations – and we’ve re-emerged on the other side of the pandemic with a full season planned for 2021. In February this year, we performed Holst’s beautiful chamber opera Sāvitrī at Observatory Hill Park, and at the time of writing (March, 2021), we’re in the midst of a run of Gluck’s haunting Orfeo ed Euridice on the rooftop of the Sydney Harbour YHA. Iphigénie, to be performed in late April 2021, marks our fourth venture, and one we’re excited to embark upon with a wonderful cast of young artists.
The Cooperative is dedicated to providing performance experience and opportunities for young and emerging artists, especially those underrepresented elsewhere in opera, and affirm that opera needs to benefit its wider society – as such, all profits are donated to charities thematically connected to the work performed. All profits from Iphigénie will be donated to organisations working with victims of violence and, as always, all entry remains open to all. So, pay as you feel, and come as you are; whether a seasoned operagoer or someone brand new to the art form, you are more than welcome.
Menila Moineaux is a Sydney-based soprano and the founder of The Cooperative. More information about The Cooperative, and about Iphigénie en Tauride, can be found at www.thecooperativeopera.org