Raising Icarus

The Rep
Thursday 28 April (19:30) - Saturday 30 April 2022 (21:30)

Ticket information

Event poster

Barber Opera

  • Michael Zev Gordon composer
  • Stephen Plaice librettist
  • Orpha Phelan director
  • Natalie Murray Beale conductor
  • Mads Boyd designer
  • Matt Haskins lighting designer
  • Birmingham Contemporary Music Group


  • Daedalus James Cleverton
  • Icarus Margo Arsane
  • Minos Andrew Slater
  • Pasiphae Galina Averina
  • Polycaste Lucy Schaufer
  • Talus William Morgan

RAISING ICARUS is a new chamber opera which breaks open the ancient myth to reveal its contemporary, psychological heart - how parental expectation and aspiration risk doing harm to our children.

How should a parent try to advance the cause of their children?

Can we stop ourselves trying to live out our ambitions vicariously through our children? 

To what extent can children fly free and find their own paths?

The Icarus myth foreshadows these modern parental preoccupations, and yet, until now, focus on the myth has remained rather simplistically on the image of ‘flying too close to the sun’. This much-anticipated opera from Michael Zev Gordon and Stephen Plaice explores the more profound psychology of the Icarus myth that has been overlooked in other tellings. Directed and designed by internationally renowned team of Orpha Phelan and Mads Boyd, and conducted by Natalie Beale Murray with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, RAISING ICARUS presents a mesmeric world of curious mechanical devices, dark labyrinths and ingenious workshops in which increasingly dysfunctional relationships eventually bring tragedy.

  • £30, £25 concessions, £20 Barber Association, £10 students/U18
  • Purchase tickets
  • Adult content 16+
  • This production has been made possible with the financial support of the Henry Barber Trust. Development of the opera took place with Tête-à-tête in 2010-11.