April 05, 2023

Get to know: The Scorpions' Sting

Theater has the power to transport audiences to faraway places and bygone eras. In Dean Burry's The Scorpions' Sting, students and families are taken on an action-packed adventure to ancient Egypt. Inspired by the legend of Isis and the Seven Scorpions, this 45-minute English-language opera was created specifically for young music fans aged 7-12.

Capping off this season's Opera in the Neighborhoods tour, audiences of all ages can enjoy a public performance of The Scorpions' Sting at the Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts on Friday, May 12, with tickets for just $5.

Outside the Lost Temple of Isis, three students express their shock and horror as they surround their professor who is lying on the ground after being stung by a scorpion.

The Scorpions' Sting follows a group of young archaeology students and their professor as they travel through an Egyptian desert in search of the Lost Temple of Isis. When the professor is stung by a scorpion, the students turn to ancient wisdom in hopes of finding a cure. When the questing students read the hieroglyphs found in the Lost Temple of Isis — the goddess of healing — the set seamlessly transitions from modern day to ancient Egypt, allowing the mythical story to unfold before our eyes. Monochromatic "ruined" columns turn to reveal colorfully painted set pieces, and practical modern clothing is replaced by lavish costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian artifacts.

At a banquet in his honor, King Osiris — god of the underworld — is tricked by his jealous brother, Set — Egyptian god of war, chaos and storms — who craves power. Set brings out an ornate chest and says that whoever fits inside the chest will win it. The prize thrills the banquet guests, but it's a trick. Set built the chest to fit only Osiris. Closing the lid on the King, Set has the chest thrown in the Nile River, after which he imprisons Queen Isis as a slave in a weaving house in the middle of the desert.

The ancient Egyption god Set (left, played by Curtis Bannister) tricks his brother Osiris (Matthan Black) into climbing into a chest as his wife Isis (Melinda Alberty) and her sister Nephthys (Julia Hardin) look on in Lyric's 2017/18 production of The Scorpions' Sting.

With the help of her sister Nephthys and a magic sistrum — a sacred U-shaped instrument in ancient Egypt — Isis journeys through the desert to a small seaside town led by seven scorpions. An arrogant rich woman turns Isis away, but a poor fisherman gives her shelter. As revenge, the scorpions sting the rich woman's baby. Isis is angry at the scorpions and casts a spell to heal the child — a spell that cures the victims of the scorpions' sting. Back in the temple, the students now understand the story of Isis, and hope the ancient spell can heal their professor, too.

Isis (Melinda Alberty) — the ancient Egyption godess of healing — cures a baby who was stung by a scorpion in Lyric's 2017/18 production of The Scorpions' Sting.

Intertwining the past with the present, this story recreates a world full of wonder and mystery, exploring the legendary tales of Egyptian gods and goddesses. Join us on the adventure, when The Scorpions' Sting comes to the Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts on Friday, May 12. General admission tickets for the 7pm perforance are just $5.

Educators and administrators can click HERE for the full Opera in the Neighborhoods tour schedule with student performances across Chicagoland on May 3, 4, 11, and 12.

The Scorpions' Sting

The Scorpions' Sting

Join us for an original opera that will capture the imagination of the entire family! While lost in the desert, a group of archaeology students uncover the Lost Temple of Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of healing, and a mythic tale unfolds as they read ancient hieroglyphics. Through the story of Isis, the students learn the importance of knowledge and the power of forgiveness. Recommended for ages 7-12.

Header photo: Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses stand in front of painted columns wearing brightly colored robes in Lyric's 2017/18 production of The Scorpions' Sting. Credit: Michael Brosilow

All other photos: Michael Brosilow