Ulla’s Odyssey at Kings Place

  • Opera & Dance
Ulla’s Odyssey at Kings Place


Thu, 08/10/2015 - 14:23


Sarah Minns and Oskar McCarthy and members of the cast in rehearsal
Sarah Minns and Oskar McCarthy and members of the cast in rehearsal
08 October, 2015

A NEW opera for families and young people, Ulla’s Odyssey, is getting its world premiere this weekend in an OperaUpClose staging at Kings Place. 

Fourteen-year-old Ulla is attempting to become the youngest person to sail round the world singlehandedly in her trusty sailing boat The Homer.

But she’s not alone – keeping her company is is her cat Binnacle.

All, though, is not plain sailing for Ulla and Binnacle. Mystical creatures and obstacles are encountered on their journey: Cy-ops, a one-eyed over-zealous robotic customs official, mistakes Binnacle for smuggled contraband; and Sylla, a dangerous sea creature whose body and mind have been horribly twisted by radioactive rubbish dumped in the oceans. All the while, the voices of the Sirens – Ulla’s family and friends at home – call out to her across the waves, tempting her to give up the journey and return home.

The nautical fantasy inspired by Homer’s Odyssey features five singers, two instrumentalists, four musical instruments and one puppet cat.

Singing Ulla is brilliant young soprano Sarah Minns, already something of an old hand on the opera circuit.

Singing Binnacle the cat is baritone Oskar McCarthy, an alumni of New End School, Hampstead, and Highgate School.

The piece is suitable for children aged over seven, families and any adult with a sense of fun and wonder.

The score is by New Zealand composer Anthony Young and the libretto by Canadian playwright Leanna Brodie. Their collabora­tive effort won OperaUp­Close’s opera writing award, Flourish.

The production is the first at Kings Place since OperaUp­Close left the King’s Head Theatre, Islington, to become an itinerant company.

• Ulla’s Odyssey is at Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, on Sunday October 10, 4pm; Sunday October 18, 2pm; Sunday November 15, 2pm, and Sunday November 22, 2pm. Tickets: super-saver £9.50 online/adult £19.50/ under-14 £12/family of three £36/ four £54

Box office 020 7520 1490, www.kingsplace.co.uk

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