Sydney it's time to pick your Nose

By Giles Hardie March 1, 2018
Opera Australia's The Nose

Nine tap dancing noses is the new definition of opera and, well, that's kinda cool

Of all the extraordinary things about Opera Australia’s latest production The Nose - and there are many - the fact that it is already a near sell out is possibly the most surprising.

And to be fair this Nose is well worth a pick.

The pitch is a tough one: “Come see a Russian absurdist opera about a man who after complaining about a smelly barber, wakes up to find his nose is gone… so he goes on a two hour journey following it around town as it - his nose, which is now the size of a teenage boy - while it cavorts around town.

And that isn’t a précis of the story… that’s just the part that makes the most sense.

The nose meanders, cavorts and tap dances through a variety of deeply eccentric situations while one forlorn, noseless, lyrical man spirals into increasingly insane song.

And every now and again the show breaks the fourth wall, to talk directly to the audience.

For most this will be the first opera they’ve seen performed in English in a long time, but it won’t necessarily assist anyone understand what’s going on.

The cast are excellent, the music wild, the production brilliant. Yet for some this will leave them questioning whether The Nose is even a ‘proper’ opera.

It is opera. It is insane. And it is an extraordinary experience.

Sydney. Pick your Nose.