Matthew Barclay is a stage and movement director. He studied music as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, dance at the Victorian College of the Arts and graduated from the Australian Ballet School and in arts management from Deakin University. His first creative engagement at Opera Australia was as choreographer on the premiere of Alan John’s The Eighth Wonder for the 1992 National Opera Workshop, directed by Jim Sharman. His repertoire as Senior Resident Director & Dance Supervisor for Opera Australia until 2020 covers over forty productions, directing mainstage, galas, international projects, schools programs, revivals – Dido and Aeneas, Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Alcina, Rinaldo, Julius Caesar, Idomeneo, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, La clemenza di Tito, Der Freischütz, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tannhaüser, Luisa Miller, Il trovatore, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, Faust, Beatrice and Benedict, Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Les pêcheurs de perles, Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow, Jenufa, The Love for Three Oranges, The Cunning Little Vixen, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Albert Herring, Peter Grimes, Madeline Lee, Bliss.
Notable work includes directing Carmen for Opera Australia’s National Tour in 2021 and Julie Taymor’s acclaimed production of The Magic Flute at Sydney Opera House. On assignment he has directed Madama Butterfly for Pittsburgh Opera and Opéra de Montréal; Il trovatore at the Macau International Music Festival; Giulio Cesare as associate director and choreographer for Los Angeles Opera, Carmen for the Taiwan Philharmonia; Faust, Lucia di Lammermoor, Il trovatore, Don Giovanni for West Australian Opera; L’elisir d’amore, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly for State Opera of South Australia; Carmen for Opera Queensland, L’elisir d’amore for NZ Opera.
As a freelance director his productions include Gianni Schicchi for Nanjing Opera House, Carmen, La bohème and Madama Butterfly for Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival, Taiwan, La bohème for Hanoi Opera House and La voix humaine on film for Sydney Festival 2022.
Matthew has created workshops for education and artist development programs as guest lecturer on the Faculty of Vocal and Opera Studies in Sydney Conservatorium of Music, for the opera program at the Victorian College of the Arts, and the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program of Opera Australia, National Institute of Dramatic Arts MFA Directing Program lecturing in opera. He is stage director of iSing Young Artists Festival held annually in Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. He is currently artistic advisor to Sydney Catholic Schools, directing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock at Qudos Arena.