HAVING received critical acclaim across the UK and Europe, a new dance-opera will grace the stage at The Anvil.

Passion is the story of two lovers who are forced apart to separate worlds.

Created by Pascal Dusapin, Passions springs to life from the myth of Orpheus, but the work offers an intriguing contemporary take on the traditional tale.

Dusapin describes Passion as a work in which the two protagonists are continually moving towards and away from each other - emotionally, physically and in understanding.

The show is performed by two singers and five dancers on stage, with an off-stage vocal backing coming from six voices and an ensemble of 17 musicians.

With the group deep into rehearsals for the Basingstoke show, audiences can expect “beautiful, delicate textures. Rich harmonies. Glacial movement alongside sudden, energised outbursts,” according to co-director Michael McCarthy.

“Passion is a beautiful, searching, timeless piece that we believe will be utterly compelling to those who want to encounter new work and immerse themselves in a new musical, movement and theatrical world.

“This is truly remarkable music which I find spell-binding.

"It creates an entire world within which the emotions of the two characters are played out, through its instrumental colour and sonorities, its fleeting melodies and harmonies and through haunting voices.”

The opera is a coming together of Music Theatre Wales and National Dance Company Wales, and it is this collaboration to which McCarthy says is key to the production’s success.

He adds: “This is not an opera with some dance in it, and nor is it a dance piece with singers.

"We needed to create a work that placed movement and vocal expression on the same level as a continuous and single entity, and in order to get there I knew I needed to collaborate with a choreographer and dance company.

“We were so fortunate that NDC Wales embraced the idea to perform Passion with such energy and enthusiasm and I know that this will take our work into new places and hopefully provoke many more ideas about how the integration of these two powerfully musical forms might be integrated in the future.”

Mixed with the haunting sounds of harpsichord and Arabic oud, Dusapin’s gleaming, shifting score conveys a timeless world within which the movement of dancers and singers can play out their story of loss and desire.

And it is mixing the art forms of dance and opera which McCarthy has to balance like a good juggler in order to appease both sides of the audience.

“My hope is that we will give both the dance audience and the opera/music theatre audience an incredibly special experience – like no other.

“Beautiful, searching, textured music full of fleeting melodies and rich sonorities combined with vocal and physical expression in equal measure, in an emotionally charged, delicate and shifting contemporary take on one of the oldest stories in music.”

Passion will appear at the Anvil on October 11, with a pre-performance talk in the Forge starting at 6.30pm.

For more information about Passion, go to anvilarts.org.uk.