Ode To Nonsense

OTN Prod Image

 Presented by Slingsby and State Opera of South Australia in association with Adelaide Festival Centre

“You elegant fowl, how charmingly sweet you sing.”

Little Edward is captivated for a sublime moment by the magic of a travelling carnival. The real world forever after seems to disappoint him. As an adult, he escapes into his enchanting imaginary ‘Gromboolian Plain’, populated by beings with luminous noses, hysterical ears and impossible adventures.

This world premiere family opera celebrates the life and work of Edward Lear (1812 – 1888). Best remembered for his lyrical, romantic whimsy ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, Lear actually hoped the world might love him better for his serious landscape paintings.

Ode to Nonsense sails cheeriously along with runcible spoons, fizzgigious fish and gosky patties, and delves into Lear’s inner conflicts. On his return from exotic travels with manservant Giorgio, Lear is reunited with his lifelong, unconfessed love Gussie.

Performed in a lushly-designed ’Gromboolian Plain’ by three principals, a children’s chorus, acrobats and a chamber orchestra.

70 minutes

Creative Credits
Composer: Quincy Grant Librettist: Jane Goldney Director/ Scenario:  Andy Packer Musical Director:  Timothy Sexton Set and Lighting Designer: Geoff Cobham Costume Designer: Ailsa Paterson Projection Design: Cindi Drennan (Illuminart) Image: Andy Ellis Executive Producer:  Jodi Glass Cast: Lear: Nicholas Lester Gussie: Johanna Allen Giorgio: Adam Goodburn Plus children's chorus, acrobats and a seven piece chamber orchestra. 
Production Snapshot
Please contact Jodi Glass

"...simply not like anything else." "Slingsby may pop a feather in the cap for the scale and originality of this work."
Samela Harris, The Barefoot Review, 26 April 2013

“…for a touching account of what happens to the human mind when pure nonsense takes over, Ode to Nonsense ploughs new ground.” “…it recounts with utmost charm and humanity the life story of Edward Lear..." “It is poignantly beautiful.” “Ode to Nonsense is curiously but wonderfully elating, conveying a message that nonsense is no bad thing.”
Graham Strahle, The Australian, 30 April 2013

Touring History

Dates City Country Production Venue Festival
26 April 2013 - 04 May 2013 Adelaide Australia Ode To Nonsense Her Majesty's Theatre
The sun loved him and warmed him as he worked in the days, but at night the moon laughed at him as it took his castles out to sea