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Descent of the Lyre

It is the early nineteenth century, and the Bulgarian village of Gela, the legendary home of Orpheus, is suffering under the heavy taxation and arbitrary justice of Ottoman rule. When his bride-to-be is abducted the night before his wedding, Ivan Gelski takes to the hills and turns to banditry to seek revenge. But a chance encounter with a travelling guitarist, and the bloodshed that follows, set him on a musical journey through fame, martyrdom and legend. In this remarkable reinvention of the tale of Orpheus, Will Buckingham plunges us into the music and folklore of Bulgaria, in a parable about storytelling, sainthood and myth-making.


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