The Nose


The Nose

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

New production

When Shostakovich released his debut opera into the world at the tender age of 20, his brilliance was plain as the nose on his face.

He used every musical trick in the book (and quite a few that weren’t) to tell this amusing tale: here a raucous percussion ensemble, here a maniacal gallop, there a lyrical chorus. This eclectic parade of styles put a few noses out of joint, but sniff as they might, not even the establishment could deny that here was a virtuoso at work.

The frenetic score springs entirely from the action on stage, as a lowly official chases his gallivanting nose around town. It’s a zany, hyperactive cabaret with more than 80 named parts (including the nose itself).

Who better to direct than the outrageously inventive Barrie Kosky, the Australian director of Berlin’s Komische Oper? Reviewers called this co-production with the Royal Opera House “terrifically realised, brilliantly inventive and highly entertaining” (The Spectator).

Andrea Molino conducts a massive cast including Martin Winkler, John Tomlinson and Alexander Lewis. They perform in English in a new translation by David Pountney.


An absurd little story about a nose on the move
Met a precocious composer with something to prove

There resulted an opera that bursts with ideas
The critics were shocked: an assault on the ears!

But the audience sniggered, guffawed and then gasped
At the clowning, the slapstick, the flatulant brass

Exuberant music with theatre to match
A nose on the run is a hard thing to catch

So go dizzy, go wild, have a marvellous night
At an opera that’s fizzy and busy and bright

Enjoy dinner before the opera at Sydney Opera House

Petits fours: opera gateau, framboise macaroon, Champagne truffleAllow us to make your dinner reservation for you: 6pm in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. You'll be served a themed three-course menu for just $69, including a Kir Royale on arrival. View the menu.

Simply add dinner to your cart after selecting tickets.

Conductor Andrea Molino
Director Barrie Kosky
Revival Director Felix Seiler
Set & Lighting Designer Klaus Grünberg
Associate Set Designer Anne Kuhn
Choreographer Otto Pichler
Revival Choreographer Thomas Herron
Assistant Director Matthew Barclay
Translation David Pountney
Platon Kuzmitch Kovalev Martin Winkler
Ivan Iakolevitch / Clerk / Doctor / Khosrev-Mizra John Tomlinson
Praskovia Osipovna / Pretzel Seller / Presenter Antoinette Halloran
District Inspector / Eunuch  Kanen Breen
The Nose / Iaryzhkin / Eunuch  Alexander Lewis
Countess Jacqueline Dark
Pelageya Podtotschina / Travel Agent / Hanger-On  Sian Pendry
Podtotschina's daughter  / Hanger-On  Eva Kong
Mother   Annabelle Chaffey
Cabby  Clifford Plumpton
Ensemble Gennadi Dubinsky
  Adrian Tamburini
  Anthony Mackey
  Simon Meadows
  Tom Hamilton
  Warwick Fyfe
  Malcolm Ede
  Ryan Sharp
  Virgilio Marino
  Benjamin Rasheed
  Gregory Brown
  Dean Bassett
  Martin Buckingham
  Brad Cooper
  Jonathan McCauley
  Nicolas Jones

Opera Australia Chorus

Opera Australia Orchestra

This production is not recommended for children. It contains strong language and adult themes.

There is a complete lockout for this production. Latecomers will not be admitted.

Running time: approximately 1 hour & 50 minutes, without interval.

A co-production between Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera Australia, Komische Oper and Teatro Real, Madrid.

Production Partner

Philip Bacon Galleries

The StoryHide

A lowly official wakes up to find his nose has escaped his face.

To add insult to injury, the nose is gallivanting around town wearing a higher rank than he.

Dinner in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre

Allow us to make your dinner reservation for you: 6pm at in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

You'll be served a themed three-course menu for just $69, including a Kir Royale on arrival. Simply add dinner to your cart after selecting your tickets.

On Arrival

Kir Royal (Moët Royale $15 supplement)
Sourdough, Pepe Saya butter

(Additional beverage available on the night) 

First course

Smoked salmon, creme fraiche, chives, potato blinis
Holy Goats cheese, witlof, green lentils & beetroot vinegar (V)

Second course

Chicken, mushroom, 'Pomme Maxim'
Gnocchi Parisenne (V)

Mixed greens ($7)

Third course

Petits fours: Gold opera gâteau, framboise macaroon, Champagne truffle
Espresso or herbal tea selection

"Shostakovich's score, driven with furious energy by conductor Andrea Molino, embraces the bizarre in lean, sometimes scattered textures, with fleeting references to an eclectic range of styles and popular genres, to capture in music a large Hogarthian cast."

★★★★★ — The Sydney Morning Herald

"The Nose is a finely choreographed celebration of the absurd, the grotesque, the different and the weird."

Limelight Magazine

"The costumes are a riot of colour and styles, and the choreography by Otto Pichler must be applauded - the tap-dancing noses brought the house down."

The Conversation

"The whole thing was magnificent. A bold, brave production of a fiendishly difficult work stunningly realised by an amazing team. Equal parts brilliant and hysterical."

— Patrick (Marrickville, NSW)

"Martin Winkler's performance was extraordinary, not only for his singing but for his masterful comedy."

— Patricia (North Avoca, NSW)

“Absolutely brilliant! I had so much fun!”

— Sergey (Peregian Springs, QLD)

“This was the most uncouth load of rubbish I have ever seen. NO STARS AT ALL”

— Joy (Sylvania, NSW)


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