Ulla's Odyssey

Composed by Anthony Young
With a libretto by Leanna Brodie

Fourteen-year-old Ulla is attempting to become the youngest person to sail the world single-handedly in her trusty sailing boat ‘The Homer’, with only her cat Binnacle to keep her company as she navigates the high seas. 

All is not plain sailing, as our heroine encounters mythical creatures and obstacles on her journey, including Cy-ops, a one-eyed, over-keen robotic customs official who mistakes her cat for smuggled contraband, and Sylla, a dangerous sea creature whose body and mind have been horribly twisted by radioactive rubbish dumped into the ocean. Meanwhile the voices of the Sirens, Ulla’s friends and family, call out to her from across the waves, tempting her to give up her lonely voyage and come home. 

This new opera is an enchanting nautical fantasy by New Zealand composer Anthony Young and Canadian librettist Leanne Brodie and was the winner of both the Flourish New Composition Award (2014) and Opera Factory’s Composition competition (2012). The production is directed by OperaUpClose's Associate Director, Valentina Ceschi (The Elixir of Love and Dido and Aeneas for OUC) and designed by Faye Bradley (Linbury Prize Finalist 2013).

The show is inspired by Homer's Odyssey, includes live music and puppetry and is suitable for children aged 7+, families and any adult with a sense of fun and wonder.

This production was generously supported by the following trusts and foundations:

Arts Council England
Foyle Foundation
Golden Bottle Trust
Golsoncott Foundation
Garfield Weston Foundation
Lucille Graham Trust
Radcliffe Trust
Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust



You can click here for more fun resources, so you and your children can play together and learn more about opera and some of the themes in Ulla's Odyssey.

The Team

Composer Anthony Young
Librettist Leanna Brodie
Director Valentina Ceschi
Musical Director Alex Beetschen
Set and Costume Designer Faye Bradley
Puppet Designer and Director Matt Hutchinson
Lighting Designer Andrew May
Assistant Director and Graphic Designer Camilla Ceschi


Thank you to our Ulla's Odyssey Crowdfunder backers!

Rannoch, Sheila Speirs, Michelle Groves, Margaret Phelan, Ailsa Hughes, Fay Wrixon, Nkechi Oba, JK Cruickshank, Judy Dixey, Sheila Hayman, John Walton, Jenny Lee, Richard Hale, Jeffrey Gilbert, Andrew Strawson, Edward Whitehead, Mary Norton, Ulla Johnson, Gillian Mussett, Ray Hood, Emma Cahsuac, Sarah Cheeseman, Colombe Julia-Plummer, Marie-Laure Roche, A M Fox, Janet McArthy, Thomas Eccleshare, Sue Buxton, David Lewitt, Alan Taylor, Chris Richardson-Child, Anna Bird, Jemima Haddock, Ann Caird, Carol Eccleshare, James Winterbotham, David and Michelle Millington, Dan Leach, Jon Aldous, Nigel Wiliams, Matthew Thomas Maxwell, Nicolas Johnson, Federico Ceschi a Santa Croce, David Viana, Alec Ceschi