It is earthy and eerie, grounded and cosmic, violent and tender, historic and contemporary, universal yet firmly situated in a South African context. In this, one senses the sharp mind and adventurous spirit of director Matthew Wild, never one to shy away from innovation.
- Cape Argus (Der fliegende Holländer, Cape Town Opera, Aug 2017) -
Matthew Wild is one of the most versatile and prolific South African theatre directors of his generation, equally at home staging operas, musicals, new plays and classic texts. A two-time Fleur du Cap Award winner, and one of the Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2012, Matthew’s productions have been seen on stages throughout his homeland, as well as in Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Australia. In early 2015, he was appointed as the Artistic Director of Cape Town Opera.
Mr. Wild made his opera directing debut in Sweden in 2009, with Boesmans’ Julie for NorrlandsOperan and Malmö Opera. In the years since, he has created acclaimed productions of Salome, Il viaggio a Reims, Suor Angelica, The Rake’s Progress, Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni and The Medium in South Africa. He returned to Stockholm in 2013 to direct the premiere of Philip Miller’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
Most recently, he has won widespread acclaim for a series of musicals produced by the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. His multi-award winning production of The Rocky Horror Show opened in 2013, and closed 19 months later after 444 performances. His staging of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret opened at the same theatre in early 2015 and was followed by Funny Girl in 2017, as well as a major production of West Side Story at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town in 2015 and in Johannesburg in 2017, returning to Cape Town in 2018.
Matthew Wild had his German debut with a critically acclaimed production of Katya Kabanova for the Hessisches Staatsteater Wiesbaden in January 2016, which will be revived in 2017-18. He debuts at Konzert Theater Bern in October 2017 with his new production of Don Giovanni, before returning to Cape Town for another Mozart title, Die Zauberflöte, following an arresting production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer for Cape Town Opera.
His work in spoken theatre stretches back to his professional debut in 2000, with the self-penned drama More, created while he was still completing his studies in Drama and English at the University of Cape Town. Notable productions of contemporary scripts include Brent Palmer’s Witnesses, John van der Ruit’s Crooked, Pieter Jacobs’ Dalliances, Brett Goldin’s Bad Apple, Nhlanhla Mavundla’s A Man and a Dog and Nicholas Spagnoletti’s Special Thanks to Guests from Afar. He made his Shakespearean debut with The Comedy of Errors at the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre in 2012, a production which earned him a Fleur du Cap nomination for Best Director.
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Matthew Wild zeigt in seiner ersten Wiesbadener Regiearbeit eine erfrischend individuelle Handschrift, verläßt sich aber nicht bloß auf die faszinierend umgesetzte Idee einer unheimlich verdüsterten Variante des magischen Realismus, sondern zeigt auch in der Personenführung sicheres handwerkliches Können.
Der Opernfreund (Katya Kabanova, Staatstheater Wiesbaden, January 2016)