Casa da Música
Myth and Music

Chaired by 

Gillian Moore


During the history of Music many composers have sought inspiration from the theatre and the myths of Classical Antiquity. The first operas, which emerged from the late 16th century onwards, were inspired by stories such as Daphne and Apollo (e.g. Dafne, by Peri) or Orpheus and Eurydice (e.g. Orfeo, by Monteverdi). Is this influence still relevant today in the field of contemporary music?

Harrison Birtwistle, a leading figure of British music over recent decades, is one of the key composers to have demonstrated that the myths of Ancient Greece still have an important place in contemporary culture, not only in the field of opera but also as an inspirational theme for instrumental works. In a talk moderated by Gillian Moore, Director of Music at the Southbank Centre, Birtwistle will discuss this subject with Charlotte Higgins. Chief culture writer at the British newspaper The Guardian, where she began as the editor of the Classical Music section, Higgins studied Classics at Oxford and has written several books on Antiquity, including a work on the multiple contributions of ancient Greece to the contemporary western world.

Session organized by Casa da Música