Premiere New York Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin England, United Kingdom
Description Greek is a retelling of Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex, set in cockney-accented north London. An aimless young man, Eddy, longs for a better life away from his family. His father tells him of a fortune teller’s prophecy years earlier that Eddy would sleep with his mother and murder his father. Eddy storms off, disgusted, brawling his way across a turbulent city rife with strikes, gas rationing, violence, and plague. Following a row with police, Eddy escapes into a café, where he argues with the café manager and kills him. The distraught café manager’s wife falls in love with Eddy and they make a life together. She tells him of her young son who was lost in the Thames River years ago. Years later, Eddy’s parents find him and finally tell him how they rescued him from the river. Horrified, Eddy realizes the fortune teller’s prophecy has come true.
This Scottish Opera/Opera Ventures co-production, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August, 2017. The Times (UK) called it “a condensed cry of rage about the moral squalor of humanity,” and “Turnage’s punk-influenced, percussion driven music brilliantly matches the demotic brutality and occasional poetic oases of Berkoff’s words.” The Guardian called it “…as relevant and risqué as ever.”