The design grew from an early discussion about Homer’s Odyssey; the notion of a story being retold over centuries, passed on from one generation to the next. The set takes the form of a book, the cover of which, woven, weather-worn and richly textured, becomes Penelope’s Palace wall. The structure revolves to reveal the book’s inner pages, carved out to form the rocky shores of Ithaca. The singers move through caves and transcend cliff tops. A strip of sky is lit with a godlike eye in the form of the sun or moon. The costumes belong to our Ithaca alone, influenced by both traditional clothing and contemporary fashion design from the Asian continent.
A number of illusions were incorporated to achieve the magic elements in the plot such as Ulysses’ onstage transformation to a beggar and a bow and arrow that could be seen to shoot the three suitors dead on stage.
Produced for the Royal Northern College of Music and premiered in December 2012.