As a director I bring artists and audiences into an unexpected and often intimate encounter with opera, discovering new associations between character, music, text, movement and space and where the relationship between singing actors and instrumentalists is central to the presentation of an integrated music drama. I work towards productions that reflect a poetic reality. I facilitate the creation of mentally and emotionally engaged characters in situations from which conflicts arise that in turn engage the sympathy and emotions of the audience. I am less concerned with finding contemporary parallels for these situations (though this may be a resonance for the audience) and more concerned in my artistic practice with extensions of dream and myth that engage the audience at another and quite instinctive level of reality.
I am currently particularly interested in the interpretative possibilities that may be offered by staging operas in unconventional spaces (for example, warehouse, asylum, church, train station, port). To this end I founded Lost & Found, a new opera company launched in August 2013 by Hon. John Day, Minister for Culture and the Arts WA, with a mission to discover lost works and present them in found spaces that speak to the resonance of the work.
“sustained power, searing interiority and superlative musicianship and stage craft”.
The West Australian on La Voix Humaine, staged in a hotel room for 15 people at a time.
“a terrific production of an underperformed work…Thomas de Mallet Burgess and Chris van Tuinen are doing great things in Perth at the moment, and Lost and Found Opera are truly offering something different for audiences…The Emperor of Atlantis is one of the most inventive productions you are likely to see this year.”
Limelight on Emperor of Atlantis, staged in the Perth Hebrew Congregation Synagogue.
“Perth’s innovative opera company Lost & Found again breaks new ground with a hilarious triple bill performed in as many sites.”
The West Australian on In the Shadow of Venus staged outside and inside the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and Winner of the West Australian Arts Editor Award.
“Darius Milhaud’s 1938 opera Médée was given a gripping Australian premiere by Lost and Found Opera…This production shouldn’t be missed.”
The West Australian on Médée staged in a former mental asylum and women’s home in Fremantle.
“Innovation, intimacy and insight: this is what opera should be about…The production is a triumph of design and direction.”
Limelight on Médée staged in a former mental asylum and women’s home in Fremantle.
(image from La Traviata, Malmö Opera)