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Artist takes puppets to the opera.

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Eddie Mair | 16:45 UK time, Monday, 24 August 2009

Nigel Wrench is in Edinburgh for us this week and he writes:

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"These are some snaps from an extraordinary production of Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses, first Edinburgh performance at the International Festival last night.

Onstage with the singers are puppets playing the main roles, with animation as a backdrop. The puppets are the work of the South African company Handspring, whose huge wooden creations have made the National Theatre's award-winning version of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse such a hit in the West End of London.

The animations are the work of William Kentridge, arguably South Africa's greatest living artist, who also directed the opera. He has a retrospective coming up at the Museum of Modern Art, New York next year and simultaneously in the city a major production of Shostakovich's The Nose, complete with eight-storey high animations, at the Metropolitan Opera.

I'll be speaking to him on PM tonight.

PS: What is it with puppets on stage at the moment? War Horse of course, now this and Avenue Q still a huge hit in London. Any ideas?"

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