TLC Client in Contract for New Opera

January 13, 2015 | Other News, TLC Talent

TLC client Matthew Hilton has signed a collaboration contract with Australian composer Taran Carter for Mau Mau – the OperaSpeaking about the inspiration behind the opera, Matthew said:

“Some things you just can’t say no to. When I looked at a photo of a gang of men and a women wielding stagy looking weapons and dressed in thrift store clothing in a forest and, mark you, their faces blacked out I said OPERA.

I grew up in Notting Hill – time of race riots –  home of the famous Carnival – my mother a concert violinist. From the Pub over the street came the chants of Irish singing their cash away. My other ear in the pillow getting Voice of America – jazz –  relayed believe it or not, from Tangiers, where not much later I’d get my head blown in the Casbah.

Every November, around the time that gang in Kenya were having their photo taken I would stuff old clothes with newspaper to burn on the night of the fifth, English Bonfire Night. Some of the clothes came from the strays and derelicts, the war-shocked, the mad, who came by our corner of the street mixed with with the stylishly dressed West Indians.

I tried to write language to be shot into theatrical space: fragments, repeated and pulled at by music – to use the staginess of opera to make performance theatre animated from the base layers of the brain. To show something of the tumbling panic, the urgency of people in trouble.”

Of his experience submitting his libretto for manuscript assessment with TLC, Matthew said:

“In 2013 I side stepped my fear and signed up for a TLC critique. Alan Harris’s analysis of my draft rang enough half hidden bells in my head for me to go back into the text in cold blood and get it into fit public state –  crucially, he registered genuine enthusiasm.”

Matthew and Taran hope to complete within eighteen months and meanwhile seek production opportunities. Interested parties should contact Matthew through the Mau Mau website.