A good nose job is hard to find: Kosky’s The Nose premieres in Australia

January 26, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australian premiere of Barrie Kosky’s new production of the rarely performed Shostakovich classic The Nose has become the most highly anticipated production of Opera Australia’s Sydney Summer Season following its critically acclaimed debut in London in 2017.

Photo courtesy Opera Australia, Royal Opera House and Bill Cooper

A co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Berlin’s Komische Oper, The Nose opened to massive acclaim, with reviewers instantly labelling it a hit and calling it “sheer bliss” (Limelight) and “terrifically realised, brilliantly inventive and highly entertaining” (The Spectator).

Under the direction of the outrageously inventive Barrie Kosky, this production is guaranteed to shock and delight. Kosky, who won Best Director at the 2016 International Opera Awards and is a director at the Berlin Komische Oper, brings his brilliant creative force to this huge production which features more than 20 principal singers, 80 named solo parts (including the nose itself), a chorus of singers and dancers, cabaret choreography, and a huge orchestral force.

Using an eclectic montage of different musical and theatrical styles including folk music, popular song and atonality, the frenetic score springs directly from the action on stage as a lowly official chases his gallivanting nose around town. Adding to the spectacle are the ten giant Noses on the loose, who literally steal the stage with a raucous tap dancing number.

Conducted by Andrea Molino, who will most likely direct the complex score from memory – an unbelievable feat – and with a star-studded cast including Martin Winkler (Platon Kuzmitch Kovalev), Sir John Tomlinson (The Barber), and Alexander Lewis (The Nose), all reprising their roles from the original season in London, The Nose knows no bounds.

With a new translation by David Pountney, this is a unique opportunity to experience this rarely performed Shostakovich masterpiece sung in English. An opera in the style of Charlie Chaplin or Monty Python, The Nose is a hugely entertaining spectacle that will have audiences snorting with laughter.

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