Published on 22/02/22


Music Theatre Wales launch FUTURE DIRECTIONS alongside two new music-creators

Published on 22/02/22

FUTURE DIRECTIONS is a young people’s programme with a difference, where young people will work in collaboration with professional Music-Creators, learning from and inspiring each other to explore what opera and music theatre mean for themselves and their communities.

Music Theatre Wales have recently appointed Jefferson Lobo and Robert Fokkens as music-creators on the project, joining Jain Boon as workshop leader and Lleucu Meinir as film maker. Jefferson and Robert will collaborate with the young participants and with each other to create a new and original work that draws on a powerful blend of artistic voices that would not otherwise have an opportunity to meet. We are also looking forward to discovering how this collaborative work will lead us in new and unexpected directions, as we begin to reimagine what opera is, who creates it and who it is for.

Brazilian-born Jefferson Lobo is a musician, composer and producer living in Cardiff. He has been focusing on futuristic, nature-inspired jazz-funk grooves and is currently releasing new music regularly from his catalogue. Hauntingly sweet harmonies combined with soothing and (at times) witty melodies form the basis for his musical cauldron, which includes styles such as jazz, orchestral, Latin, reggae, futuristic, and world music. He has worked with the theatre company August 012 and with BBC Radio and has written, scored, and arranged music for Butetown Carnival 2020 and 2021, a particular highlight being his transatlantic piece Zamba, commissioned by Butetown Arts & Culture Association.

Robert Fokkens is a South African composer based in the UK. His work explores a range of influences from traditional South African music to 20th- and 21st-century experimental music, via jazz, electronic dance music and the classical canon. In past seasons, Robert’s work has been performed in major venues in the UK (including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and Royal Festival Hall), South Africa, Australia, the USA, Japan, and across Europe. His opera ‘Bhekizizwe’ will tour Wales this Autumn.

Director Michael McCarthy said

“It is wonderful to be working with such an exciting team on Future Directions. The coming together of such a range of talent and skills is remarkable, with Jefferson and Robert bringing such different musical worlds to the drama-led creativity provided by Jain, all leading towards the making of a filmed piece with Lleucu. This is opera making that starts with young people, is developed in collaboration with professionals and looks to the future.”

Future Directions project is made up of 2 residential stays. The first, at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, is where we will start to put together the building blocks of the new work, followed by monthly meet ups online. The final residency, taking place in Cardiff, will be the staging and creation of the piece.

To find out more about FUTURE DIRECTIONS, please visit our website