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An Orpheus for soprano, clarinet and dancers

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Cast and Creators
Soprano Norah Long; composer Ricky Ian Gordon; and choreographer Cynthia Guiterrez-Garner.
MPR photo by Karl Gehrke

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon is becoming a regular presence in the Twin Cities classical music and theater scene. He was in town frequently as the Minnesota Opera workshopped, rehearsed and then premiered his opera "The Grapes of Wrath." He's made return trips to plan a future project with the opera company.

This week Gordon is in the Cities for a joint production of his work "Orpheus and Euridice" by Nautilus Music-Theater and Minnesota Dance Theatre.

The production runs April 18-27 at Pantages Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

Gordon originally wrote the piece as a song-cycle for soprano, clarinet and piano. Not long after its premiere in 2001, Gordon expanded it into a music-theater-dance production. It retained the trio of musicians, but added dancers.

The new version of "Orpheus and Euridice" has been staged by a number of dance and theater companies around the country. 

Because Gordon provides no stage directions, the work is left wide open to interpretation. One recent production took place in a swimming pool.

The Nautilus Music-Theater and Minnesota Dance Theatre production is choreographed by Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner. It features soprano Norah Long who has performed the music in the Nautilus' "Rough Cuts" series, produced by artistic director Ben Krywosz.

Ricky Ian Gordon, Norah Long and Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner stopped by the Minnesota Public Radio studios before a rehearsal and spoke with host John Birge.