Mitch Riley is a singer, actor, director, and teacher. An eclectic artist, he works in opera, theatre, clowning, and puppetry. His passion for creating new work has led to his involvement in the creation of more than twenty works for the opera stage, the theatre, the concert hall, and less-traditional spaces.
Mitch began his career with the Sydney Chamber Opera, performing works by Peter Maxwell-Davies (The Lighthouse), György Kurtág (...pas à pas – nulle part...), and Pascal Dusapin (O Mensch!, Passion), as well as giving the world premieres of operas by Jack Symonds, Elliott Gyger, Michael Smetanin and Huw Belling. He also performed regularly in the chorus of Opera Australia.
After his encounter with the music of György Kurtág, he began questioning the relationship between music, gesture and the theatre. This eventually led him to undertake theatre studies in 2016 at the Jacques Lecoq International School of Theatre in Paris, renowned for its pedagogy centred on the body of the actor. He also studied clowning with Vincent Rouche and Herve Langlois, as well as puppetry with artists from the Compagnie Philippe Genty, La Nef, and Les Anges au Plafond.
Since then, he has worked with various artists and companies on a diverse range of projects, including the creation of V-I-T-R-I-O-L, a multidisciplinary work by the choreographer Francesca Bonato and composer Aurélien Dumont ; Maman. Source, Origine, Cause., a theatre work created and directed by Marta Tkaczuk ; new operas by Jack Symonds and Elliott Gyger with the Sydney Chamber Opera ; the premieres of compositions by Elvio Cipollone and Gilles Schuehmacher with Ensemble Offrandes ; and Perte, a work he directed and created with the clown Ruthy Scetbon. In 2022, he revisited Pascal Dusapin’s O Mensch!, performing the work with the pianist Vanessa Wagner as part of the Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije and the Louth Contemporary Music Festival.
Mitch is currently collaborating with the Quatuor Béla and Ruthy Scetbon on a theatrical adaptation of music by György Kurtág, L'Homme est une fleur.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Mitch resides in Paris, France. He teaches theatre at the Studio-Théâtre de Charenton.
Artistic Associate, Sydney Chamber Opera