The Odyssey

Photo by RJ Hooker

A Folk Opera by Joe Goodkin

Joe Goodkin's Odyssey is a 30 minute original musical composition for solo acoustic guitar and voice. Drawing on his years of writing and recording original rock music and his Bachelor's Degree in Classics/Ancient Greek from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Joe's performance represents in a contemporary musical mode both the abridged plot and the performance circumstances of Homer's original oral composition of The Odyssey. His performance invokes the spirit of the ancient Greek bards who originally brought forth the timeless stories of Odysseus and the heroes of the Trojan War.

Part lecture, part musical performance, and part interactive discussion, the centerpiece of Joe's program is a 30 minute continuous performance of 24 original songs with lyrics inspired by Odysseus' famous exploits. To learn more about the songs and Joe's unique performance, you can visit Joe's website here.

About the Performer 


Joe Goodkin received a BA in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has years of experience performing original rock and acoustic music. He has been performing his unique interpretation of the Odyssey since 2003.

Joe has performed his Odyssey over 200 times in 32 U.S. states and Canada, and has been honored with several ASCAP Composers' awards. Read an article Joe wrote about being a modern bard at The Paideia Institute's own online journal, Eidolon.


      Photos by RJ Hooker 


Book The Odyssey

The Odyssey is especially suited for high school and college classes reading The Odyssey, but can be adapted for audiences of any age with any level of familiarity with the story. High school and college classroom performances customarily begin with a 5 minute introduction followed by the 30 minute performance. An interactive question and answer session follows.

The Odyssey can be performed in any sized venue from classroom to auditorium, up to three times a day. For larger venues and audiences, a microphone and PA system may be necessary, but Joe generally performs without amplification. Joe also provides a program so audiences can follow the lyrics or projects the lyrics while he performs.

Performance fees vary based on location and number of performances. Please fill out the booking request form by pressing the button below. 

Book a Performance