cape town opera | artscape theatre | 2011
Matthew directed a stark and harrowing Suor Angelica for Cape Town Opera in 2011, set in a third world hospice, with a tranquiliser-addicted Angelica haunted by fleeting images of a ghostly child from the beginning. Four rooms set on the revolve offered fleeting cinematic glimpses into the rooms and corridors of the hospice.
“Matthew Wild, the director of Suor Angelica, raised this opera from mere saccharine sentiment to something nobler. The final moments were breathtaking: in the hospital ward where Angelica has been ministering to chronically-ill and disabled children, suddenly, in dazzling white light and rolling mists, the children were turned into pietistic statues of the Madonna (draped in dark blue veils, with flashing red, bleeding hearts), as the little fair-haired son ran in to be beside the body of his dead mother. Wild’s concept somehow succeeded in transferring the guilt laid on Angelica by the dogma of the Catholic Church to the harsh attitude of an unrelenting family.” OPERA
“the surprise of the evening was the manner in which Wild and Driedijk turned the ugly duckling of the triptych into the star of the evening, primarily through a cunningly contemporary set and brilliant realisation of its narrative possibilities. Segmenting the revolve into four adjacent triangular scenes with a passage running along the diameter, Wild transformed the passivity of this single scene libretto into an almost filmic mobility, moving seamlessly between the convent’s hospital pharmacy and adjacent ward, the chapel and the sisters’ common room. The result was to invest the narrative with heightened immediacy and greater impact ... Costuming was neatly effective in a contemporary nunnery way and lighting exemplary.” CAPE TIMES
“Full marks must go to director Matthew Wild, who wisely updated the story to a hospice. His theatrical background was evident in the emphasis on the drama of the work, as well as the most heart-rending ending this reviewer has seen in years.” CAPE ARGUS
“Wild’s set is striking and a resourceful idea. Teto’s performance of "Senza Mamma" was moving, and her acting in the final scene heart-wrenching” DIE BURGER
“ ... outstandingly directed by Matthew Wild. The rotating set was inspired and wonderfully executed by Tina Driedijk. Not only did it meticulously house the story but it added to the overall enjoyment of the opera. Maritha Visagie’s costume design in this particular opera was pleasantly perfect. Nozuko Teto in the lead role as Sister Angelica is nothing short of sensational” YOURSOAPBOX
“Suor Angelica, directed by Matthew Wild, opens on a startling rotating stage, created by Tina Driedijk, as the poetic representation of a hospice run by nuns. The set is impressive, nooks for prayers, sinful thoughts, internal conflicts and indubitable faith ... Transposing the stage, originally in a convent courtyard, into a series of spaces into which the nuns seem to slide, adds movement and flow” DAILY MAVERICK