The Moth­er

A mother and a son, a son and a mother. Things had to be this way and couldn’t be another.

Leon dreams of changing the world with his radical philosophy but the explosive, suffocating, mutually destructive relationship he has with his mother leaves little time for anything or anyone else.

The Mother is an adaptation of the absurdist play Matka by Polish writer Witkacy (Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz). Indebted to Eastern European theatre, it is a bitingly satirical and explosive response to the traditions of opera. Osborn plunges the audience into an anarchic, surrealist world through taut, intense music that draws on Weill, Birtwistle, and Romitelli, alongside mainstream pop influences.

  • Laurence Osborn composer
  • Theo Merz libretto
  • Loré Lixenberg The Mother
  • James Hall Leon
  • Lindsay Bramley Dorothea
  • Geoffrey Dolton Father
  • Rebecca Bottone Sophia
  • Andrew Dickinson Academic and De Proud
  • Daniel Norman Theatre Owner and Modesta
  • Frederic Wake-Walker staging
  • Sylwester Łuczak lighting
  • Jamie Man conductor
  • Yshani Perinpanayagam repetiteur & pianist
  • CHROMA orchestra
Intricate, animated… it contains snatches of parlour song as The Mother waxes nostalgic, and jazz rhythms flash through its lucid textures.
Yehuda Shapiro, The Stage

World Premiere (staged concert version)

25 April 2018

POSK, London


A Mahogany Opera Group production


Developed through Various Stages by Mahogany Opera with support from Arts Council England, Tony Mackintosh & Criona Palmer, Britten–Pears Foundation, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and the London Community Foundation, Ernst von Siemens Foundation, Polish Cultural Institute and RVW Trust.

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