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- Opera and Music-Theatre
Matthew Dewey is an Australian composer and singer. He studied composition under Professor Douglas Knehans and Constantine Koukias at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music where in his first year he received the Don Kay Scholarship for Music Composition. He is pro-active in new music initiatives, having in his first year of university established the ten-piece conservatorium New Music Ensemble (a student led ensemble designed as a vehicle for student composers), and as a co-founder of the Tasmanian Composers Collective, which aims to provide performance, recording and broadcast opportunities to Tasmanian composers. As part of the Seymour Group’s Tasmanian Conservatorium residency in 2003, the group premiered two of his works, “A Dance on Five Claps” (for ensemble and digital delay) and “Voyage” (for ensemble with bass clarinet solo) in which the solo was performed by internationally renowned Bass Clarinettist Harry Spaarnay.
Matthew has scored incidental music for a number of theatrical productions and short films. He composed the music and librettos for two chamber operas “A Priest’s Passion” and “The Death of Chatterton” (for which he received a BUZZ grant from the Australia Council for the Arts) both of which have were staged through the IHOS Music Theatre Laboratory and recorded by ABC Classic FM.
He writes extensively for the voice and his works include “To a Skylark” – for Soprano and Piano, “Isolated States” song cycle for String Quartet and Bass-Baritone, “Insomniac” for solo Baritone and the “Chatterton Suite” – song cycle for Bass, Flute and Percussion. His work “Elegy” – a song suite for Soprano, two percussionists and digital pre-record, was premiered as part of a guest artist appearance at Maldini’s restaurant at Salamanaca in Hobart.
For the last four years he has been mentored by Composer and Artistic Director of IHOS Music Theatre and Opera, Constantine Koukias, in composition, performance and theatrical design. He has for 3 years been operating as Koukias’ music typesetter and has scored the opera “TESLA – Lightning in his Hand”, the sacred concert-mass “Pentekostarion – Prayer Bells for Federation” which was premiered at the Melbourne Festival 2001 (both of which Matthew also performed in), Ancient Immortal Spirit (for TSO), and worked on “Prayer at Lamplighting” which was premiered by the China National Symphony Orchestra, plus numerous other chamber music works.
Matthew is currently working on a commission from the Sydney Children’s Choir (Cambiata group) for a set of songs based upon text by a young Australian poet; a short suite for percussion ensemble for performance by the Tasmanian Composers Collective in March 2006; a variety of short film projects (with Ideal Media) and various pieces for competition.
Matthew is a founding member of the IHOS Music Theatre Laboratory and has performed as a singer/actor in more than 15 premiere performances, including works by Constantine Koukias, Maria Grenfell, Claudio Pompili, Hugh Covill and Raffaello Marcellino He studies voice and has received tuition from Helen Todd, Constantine Koukias, Julianne Van der Boor, Christopher Richardson and Marilyn Smith.
His appearances as a principal performer have included the bass soloist in the Australasian Premiere of Phillip Glass’ opera “Hydrogen Jukebox”, Archondas (Landlord) in I Protomastoras (Masterbuilder) by Manolis Kalomiris (1st performance outside of Greece), the Caretaker in Claudio Pompili’s opera Touch Wood (both Adelaide and Hobart seasons), and George Westinghouse in Constantine Koukias’ opera “TESLA — Lightning in his Hand” (Suite Version) for the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM).