There exists a genuine mystery at the heart

“I believe that there exists a genuine mystery at the heart of songwriting. Certain lines can appear at the time to be almost incomprehensible, but they nevertheless feel very true, very true indeed. And not just true, but necessary, and humming with a kind of unrevealed meaning.”

Nick Cave speaking to Seán O’Hagan in ‘Faith, Hope and Carnage‘, Canongate Books, 2022

Nick Cave speaks about songwriting, but he could have said as much about all art, including opera, than which none perhaps is more mysterious. I worked with the people making the Traction operas for three years, and yet I experienced each performance as if it were quite new to me. It was certainly mysterious, which is why, of course, art is created, or co-created: to express what we cannot express any other way.

Now, you can see and hear for yourself. Films of both O Tempo (Somos Nós) and La Gata Perduda are now online. Curiously, I haven’t watched them yet: I want to, but I also don’t want to overwrite my memory of being there with the flatter one captured in video. But if you weren’t able to attend the live opera, then the films are the next best thing. There are no English subtitles, I’m afraid, so you will have to surrender to the mysterious heart of these works. I hope you will enjoy them.

La Gata Perduda was filmed by TV3 and broadcast this month, along with the four episodes of a documentary about the co-creation process. You can watch both on the TV3 on demand site: