Matthew Wild

There is a perception that opera is “an ivory-tower indulgence for the rich”. Matthew Wild, dramaturge and staff director at the Cape Town Opera, disagrees. “With the largely untapped ‘natural resource’ of outstanding voices in this country, opera has the potential to create jobs and inspire communities, he says.” Wild launched his directing career with More — an award-winning “rave generation epic” that he wrote, directed and produced in his final year at the University of Cape Town. In 2009 Wild made his official operatic directing debut with Philippe Boesman’s Julie in Sweden, following it up with Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims for his Cape Town debut in 2010. Today the 33-year-old works 75% in opera and 25% in spoken theatre. When not dividing his time between opera houses in Europe and Australia, Wild works in Cape Town, where he leads a new generation of “behind-the-scenes South African opera professionals” who are building the industry, one soprano at a time.

— Cat Pritchard