Much has been written about Robert Lepage’s staging of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables since its Toronto premiere in 2009.

Winning audiences over all around the world with its wonderful blend of puppetry styles and live performers, it has finally arrived on our shores as the centrepiece of this year’s Adelaide Festival.

Fifteen years on, it has lost none of its magic. Indeed, it could be said that it is even more of a masterpiece than it was hailed to be when it first opened.

The Nightingale and Other Fables at the 2024 Adelaide Festival. Photo © Andrew Beveridge

Of course, the puppets designed by Michael Curry remain timeless, however their handling by the cast has improved considerably over time.

Choreographed by Michael Genest and directed by Lepage, the opera singers who manipulate them waist-high in water seem far more at ease than some of their predecessors in earlier stagings of this production around the world.

Their facial expressions are far more animated, and the puppets seem to be more an extension of them. This is something audiences familiar with Curry’s later work for Disney will recognise.

Indeed, it was Curry’s work with Julie Taymor...