MTW New Directions

MTW: The House of Jollof Opera | Video of the Week

Introducing Video of the Week from Wales Arts Review. We’ll be showcasing some of the best new art in Wales with a new video shared every week. From music to drama and everything in between, videos will not be limited by medium. This week, we take a look at a video which introduces the New Directions project from Music Theatre Wales.

Led by Artistic Associate Elayce Ismail and Director Michael McCarthy, Music Theatre Wales is presenting three collaborations from artists new to opera through New Directions, a project which introduces a bold vision, staying true to the company origins while responding to the need to create new opera for our times.

‘Opera is such a dynamic art form and I think it can absolutely resonate with contemporary audiences, but to do so it needs new artists and new ideas to invigorate, challenge and develop it,’ explained Ismail. ‘For New Directions we’ve brought together three brilliant pairs of collaborators, who each bring different creative practices to the mix, and who have been generous and inquisitive in our discussions about the potential of opera’.

New Directions presents a chance to question what opera is and what it should be by commissioning and working with artists who have previously been ignored or excluded from creating opera. The stories, how work is created, the music and the audiences that are invited to experience opera, have all been redefined through the three new collaborative works.

‘If we want to reach new audiences and stimulate wider interest in the creation of new opera with the huge potential it has, we need to be working with artists who can lead us in new and unexpected directions,’ said McCarthy.

The House of Jollof Opera was created for New Directions by writer, composer and performer Tumi Williams and multidisciplinary director and dramaturg Sita Thomas; the story is about budding chef Adeola who brings style and his speciality vegan Jollof to impress Asha, a tired and hard-working boss of a neighbourhood café.

All three works will soon be available to watch for free on the Music Theatre Wales website. The House of Jollof Opera was released today, Pride (A Lion’s Roar) will be launched on Friday the 8th of October and Somehow will launch on Friday the 22nd of October.

Header image: MTW House of Jollof Opera by Tumi Williams and Sita Thomas (Credit: Redbrck)