Tuesday 6 October 2015

Ulla's Odyssey flourishing at Kings Place

Ulla's Odyssey
Ulla's Odyssey by New Zealand composer Anthony Young, and Canadian librettist Leanna Brodie will be premiered on 11 October at Kings Place. Directed by Valentina Ceschi and designed by Faye Bradley, the opera is being presented by OperaUpClose and is the result of their third Flourish competition looking for new chamber scale operas capable of being performed by by seven performers. 

Young and Brodie's opera is a family one, the first such to come through OperaUpClose's competitions. Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, it concerns a young woman, Ulla who is attempting to become the youngest person to sail the world single-handedly in her trusty sailing boat 'The Homer', with only her cat Binnacle to keep her company. She encounters mythical creatures and obstacles on her journey, including Cy-ops, a one-eyed, over-keen robotic customs official who mistakes her cat for smuggled contraband, and Sylla, a dangerous sea creature whose body and mind have been horribly twisted by radioactive rubbish dumped into the ocean. Meanwhile the voices of the Sirens, Ulla’s friends and family, call out to her from across the waves, tempting her to give up her lonely voyage and come home.

The opera features Sarah Minns as Ulla, Oskar McCarthy as Binnacle/Garibdis, Flora McIntosh as Goddess of the Sea, Pamela Hay as Scylla, Edward Hughes as Cy-Ops, with Ruth Whybrow as Instrumentalist.

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