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Gluck's Paris and Helen

Westonbirt SchoolTetbury, South-West, GL8 8QG, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Monday 30 August 202119:00
Bampton Classical Opera
Thomas BluntConductor
Jeremy GrayDirector
Ella TaylorSopranoParide (Paris)
Lucy AndersonSopranoElena (Helen)
Lauren Lodge-CampbellSopranoCupid
Lisa HowarthSopranoPallas Athene
Orchestra of Bampton Classical Opera

“Ill-fated as we are, we’ll become the theme of songs by those as yet unborn”

(Helen, in Homer’s Iliad)

What must it be like to be acclaimed as the most beautiful woman in the world? In the 21st century, Helen would be an A-list celeb – an indecent fortune, fast and glitzy life-style, face – and body - familiar to millions through film and lifestyle magazine: an impossible role-model for unhappy teenagers, a target for envious online trolls. Was it so different in the Greek world of the 12th century BC? Perhaps not, when fame of beauty could still cross turbulent oceans and the trolls were all-powerful Olympian deities, squabbling and vindictive. Was Helen of Troy a scheming, grasping socialite – or a ‘me-too’ victim of unwanted and predatory male desire? And could her complex psychology be explained by her barely natural parentage – she was the daughter of Leda, wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta – but was her father in truth almighty Zeus, who’d seduced Leda in the guise of a swan, so that Helen was born from an egg?

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