Odysseus Unwound (2006)



Join Odysseus on his terrifying journey through mysterious Islands where the Mediterranean meets the North Sea in an extraordinary operatic voyage.


In a unique collaboration between the UK’s most forward-looking opera company and the spinners and knitters of the Shetland Islands, this is a sensual mix weaving the virtuosic crafts of the Shetland knitters with Tête à Tête’s unique style of visual theatre and outstanding musicianship.


This ageless story, shot through with glints of humour, is brought right into the 21st century as the Fates spin the tangled destiny of a savage, damaged and confused warrior returning from a futile conflict between East and West, fought on spurious pretexts…



A Shetland Odyssey – documentary


Odysseus Unwound – feature on The Culture Show


“…we shouldn’t forget tiny operations such as…Tte ˆ Tte. With scant resources, they pump fresh blood and energy into a body operatic that often looks sluggish and sclerotic.”

Rupert Christiansen’s round-up of opera, The Daily Telegraph, September, 2004


“Telling a yarn may be one thing, but singing one on stage as part of a modern opera performance featuring real Shetland knitters is something else altogether… Mr Bankes-Jones was told: “Make knitting cool”

Pete Bevington, The Shetland News


Read the independent evaluation of Odysseus Unwound


Download the Odysseus Unwound Programme.

Music: Julian Grant

Libretto: Hattie Naylor




Singers: Daniel Broad, Monica Brett-Crowther, Phyllis Cannan, Sadhbh Dennedy, Louise Mott, Kim-Marie Woodhouse


Knitters and spinners: Elizabeth Johnston, Margaret Milligan, Margaret Peterson, Janice Sawford, Anne Sinclair


Orchestra: Chroma