» Space Odyssey

The war is won, and on a distant planet somewhere in the solar system, Captain Odysseus sets course for home. Will he make it? Will his crew want to stop off for burgers on Planet Siren? Will they get eaten by the space beast Scyllar? More to the point, will his wife in mission control keep his tea warm for twenty years?

All these questions and more are answered in this intergalactic opera made by Orchestra of the Swan and Talking Birds Theatre Company in collaboration with Welcombe Hills, Thomas Jolyffe and Wilmcote Schools. Featuring hundreds of singers, thousands of notes, and millions of stars, Space Odyssey is an epic journey from one side of the galaxy to the other, at light speed, and with the universe’s best sound system.

Homer's Odyssey, set in space.


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» review

"There was an uncanny topicality about Friday afternoon’s astonishing adventure about travellers stranded in remote parts desperate to get home.

But even without that added frisson, Space Odyssey – an Intergalactic Opera had so much to make the neck-hairs tingle, and not only for the huge involvement of pupils from three Stratford schools: Thomas Jolyffe, Wilmcote (primaries), and Welcombe Hills School (a specialist arts college for children with special needs).

The Orchestra of the Swan has for many years undertaken outreach work at Welcombe Hills, and its conductor David Curtis, had the idea to bring three schools [Welcombe Hills with Thomas Jolyffe and Wilmcote Schools] together in this new opera. The theatrical side was taken care of by the imaginative and enterprising Talking Birds Company from Coventry.

And the result was stunning. A packed arena-style audience was enthralled as Odysseus and his crew made the ten-year journey home after victory on the planet Troy, the children sang and acted with immense professionalism, and the adult professionals, headed by Mathew Sharp, Georgia Ginsberg, and David Bradley (narrator and particularly nasty baddie), performed with a commitment totally respectful of their young colleagues.

Curtis conducted his willing orchestra with verve in Derek Nisbet’s communicative score, Nick Walker's script was a model of wit and directness, and vocal coach Rebecca Ledgard drew every ounce of pathos and glee from these amazing children." [Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post]

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» booking information

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