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The Nightingale and Other Fables

Presented by State Opera South Australia and Adelaide Festival

Festival Theatre

01 Mar - 06 Mar 2024

A co-production of Opéra de Lyon, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Canadian Opera Company and Dutch National Opera in collaboration with Ex Machina

The world’s greatest directors can breathe new life into beloved classics. Few can do so like Robert Lepage.

Returning to Adelaide Festival for the first time since 2018, the internationally acclaimed Canadian auteur brings his brilliant imagination and a lush aesthetic to Igor Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables.

The Nightingale, Stravinsky’s first opera, was written between 1908-13 during the composer’s Russian period, at the same time as he was working on some of his greatest masterpieces, such as The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this enchanting work is blended with Russian fables and musical influences from Asia, Europe and early jazz from America.

Stories unfurl through acrobatic shadow play and Taiwanese hand puppets, before moving on to the ancient art of Vietnamese water puppetry for the spectacular telling of The Nightingale, set on a beautiful lake created in the confines of the theatre.

These stunning visual elements are the perfect complement to Stravinsky’s music, brought to life by a superb cast of singers from Ukraine, the United States, Canada and Australia, the State Opera South Australia Chorus and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. It’s a true feast for the senses.

With exquisite music, enchanting puppetry and captivating stories, this magical work combines the best of Stravinsky and the imagination of Lepage in a program that will delight audiences of all ages.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "A triumph"

Financial Times
Our Partners

Alejo Pérez
Robert Lepage

Adelaide Festival memberships and pre-sale tickets available from 12pm on 3 July at or call Adelaide Festival 1300 393 404. General public tickets available from 9am on 11 July.

*Transaction fees apply

  • Duration 2h 10min
  • Interval yes
  • Suitability Recommended for audiences ages 10+
  • Surtitles yes
  • Hearing Loop yes
  • Accessible Venue yes