Euripides Chorus Brought to Life


The AMNE department is delighted to congratulate Dr. Hallie Marshall in Theatre & Film on her production of a brand new performance of the surviving chorus from Euripides’ Phaethon in ancient Greek. This project arose from last May’s Go Global Greece program and stands out as a vivid case of bringing the ancient world to life.

The song being sung is the surviving chorus from Euripides’ lost play Phaethon. While the play no longer survives, this chorus exists on papyrus, and that made it an ideal text for a separate performance in this context. Working with Barefaced Greek, a UK-based film company headed by Helen Eastman and Mairin O’Hagan, UBC has now been able to allow two Greek choruses to be filmed (the last one was the so-called Ode to Man from Sophocles’ Antigone).

Barefaced Greek films are meant to be used as pedagogical tools, producing short, quality passages in the original language for use in a variety of contexts. The films have subtitles in a range of modern languages, with more coming for Phaethon. Most of the students had never studied ancient Greek, and part of the role of AMNE’s own Professor C.W. Marshall was in drilling them and helping them memorize ancient lyric. This involved rehearsals for several weeks last March and April. The music is a modern setting by Alex Silverman.

AMNE is proud to have supported this venture and can’t wait to see what creative new approaches will be used to enliven the ancient world in the future!