#PickoftheWeek | A Grecian rock opera with love, war and awesome costumes
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Anthony and Cleopatra? Romeo and Juliet? No, Vladimir and Anna are in love this time.
Porphyra: A Grecian Rock Opera brings romance to Flushing Town Hall this weekend. Fun, tragic, emotional, triumphant, Porphyra takes audiences on a wild-and-crazy trek through the Dark Ages, from the triumphs of Alexander the Great to the glories of Byzantium. The Porphyra Band mixes hard rock and Greek folk music, while emotional, heartfelt songs tell the story of two rulers whose love altered the course of history.
The protagonists meet in 988 AD, when Emperor Basil II rules Byzantium, but civil wars threaten to destroy the capital city, Constantinople, from within. And if that’s not bad enough, to the north, Grand Prince Vladimir is unifying Kievan Rus, a loose federation of Slavic tribes in an area that currently includes Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.
Looking to conquer more land, Vladimir marches towards Constantinople. Basil responds by dispatching his beautiful sister, Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, to negotiate a treaty with the invading hordes. Instantly smitten, Vladimir promises peace if he can marry Anna, but she refuses, calling him a “pagan barbarian.” Of course, Vladimir insists, sending 6,000 warriors to help Basil quash the internal strife and converting his subjects to Greek Orthodox Christianity.
Love ensues…among tremendous dance routines and energetic theatrics.
Images courtesy of Porphyra Band; bottom image by Jeffrey R. Wyant