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iPod opera and live performance: 'Orpheus: The Myth Retold'

February 20, 2007

Arizona State University’s department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance presents a live performance of William Duckworth and Nora Farrell’s Orpheus Trilogy, 2.0, launched in 2006 as 26 video podcasts. With a DJ, VJ, Voices, Music, cyberspace, didgeridoo, podcast and Second Life, Orpheus: The Myth Retold updates a myth and the first opera from four hundred years ago.

The performance is scheduled for 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at ASU’s West campus, Second Stage West, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix. Orpheus is part of the spring 2007 arts and performance season and is produced by the department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Related to the on-going live and Internet music project Catheral, Orpheus: The Myth Retold re-imagines the story of Orpheus, the mythical Greek poet and musician who journeyed to the Underworld to rescue his bride, Eurydice. He charms the gods with his music and songs and they agree to let Eurydice return to the earth under the condition that Orpheus not look back.

The performance pays homage to first European Opera, L'Orfeo, by Claudio Monteverdi, which premiered on Feb. 24, 1607 in Mantua, Italy. In Orpheus: The Myth Retold, a storyteller, the Chronicler, ASU's AJ Sabatini, recounts the myth to the music of Duckworth and DJ Tamara Weikel, of Seattle, Wash., and Australian didgeridoo player, William Barton, who played with the Phoenix Symphony last season.

Duckworth is a composer, performer, author, and teacher, whose work is known worldwide. His latest book is Virtual Music: How the Web Got Wired for Sound, Routledge, 2005). Duckworth and co-creator Nora Farrell began Cathedral in 1996. The project features an interactive website; new virtual instruments, including the PitchWeb; and the Cathedral Band, a worldwide collective that plays live and online.

Orpheus: The Myth Retold is the second section of the IPod Opera, leading to performance in Australia, August 2007 in a production to be staged by the Brisbane River parklands. Performed on iPods, cellphones, and laptops, along with interactive installations and live performers.

Tickets are $10 for Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance students, $15 for general admission, and are available through ASU’s West campus cashier's office, or by calling (602) 543-ARTS. Seating is limited.