Mitch Riley is an Australian performing artist. He is active as a classical singer, actor, director, puppeteer and teacher.
Mitch has a Bachelor of Music Studies (Classical singing) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2011). His interest in music, the voice and the body in the theatre led him to Paris, France, where he undertook studies in theatre between 2016 and 2018. During this time he studied at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq; marionettes, manipulation and movement with Eric de Sarria and Nancy Rusek (Compagnie Philippe Genty), Camille Trouvé (Les Anges au Plafond), and Jean-Louis Heckel, Sarah Helley and Einat Landais (La NEF); clown with Vincent Rouche (Compagnie du Moment); and Topeng (Balinese dance and mask theatre) with Frédéric Tellier.
Mitch's interest in the voice, music-led theatre and the creation of new work has led to a rich partnership with Sydney Chamber Opera (SCO), with whom he has performed regularly since the company's inaugural production in 2011. With SCO, Mitch has premiered lead roles in a number of new Australian operas and stage works, and has performed works by leading international composers. Mitch is an Artistic Associate with SCO. http://sydneychamberopera.com/
Mitch also works as a singer, actor, director and puppeteer in France.
Current and upcoming projects: Breaking Glass (a collection of new operas by Australian composers, Sydney Chamber Opera); further performances of The Shape of the Earth by Jack Symonds and Pierce Wilcox (Sydney, Australia), and Jepthé by Josselin Roux (Nantes, France); premiere and performances of Perte, a work for solo clown (creation with Ruthy Scetbon, Paris, France); creation of SPACE DOGS, a new work by Panache International Theatre Company; creation of a work with the music of György Kurtág; A multidisciplinary approach to theatrical creation, workshop with Tal Reuveny and Mitch Riley; L'extraordinaire est sous nos yeux, workshop series in movement and puppetry for children.
- Deux clowns et un bureau, a work for clown duo (creation with Ruthy Scetbon and Anahid Gholami Saba)
- La fièvre du samedi matin: World Premiere of a song cycle by Gilles Schuehmacher (Ensemble Offrandes, Le Mans, France)
- Oscar and Lucinda by Elliott Gyger and Pierce Wilcox. World Premiere, SCO.
- Jepthé, a dramatic oratorio for baritone, soprano and percussion by Josselin Roux. World Premiere.
- Méli-Méloup et la fille Verte, a work for children with puppets, shadow theatre and actors. Collective creation.
- Courses in movement and puppetry for children.
- The Shape of the Earth by Jack Symonds and Pierce Wilcox. World Premiere. Resonant Bodies Festival Sydney, SCO and Carriageworks.
- Workshop: Composing Women, "a program of professional development aimed at fostering and empowering women composers". Working with SCO, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Mitch was part of the development of three new Australian operas (Bree van Reyk's The Invisible Bird, Josephine Macken's The Tent, and Peggy Polias' The Commute).
- Development of Isabelle Garcin’s J’ai des pieds en permanence, a work for solo clown.
- Inside Mr Enderby, a dramatic work for baritone and string quartet by Huw Belling and Pierce Wilcox. Presented by Manchester Collective. World Premiere.
- O Mensch!, a staged song-cycle for baritone and piano by Pascal Dusapin. Australian Premiere. 2016 Sydney Festival, SCO.
- Passion by Pascal Dusapin. Production by Pierre Audi. Australian Premiere. 2016 Sydney Festival, SCO.
- Victory Over the Sun. Huw Belling's, Pierce Wilcox's and Justene Williams’ reimagining of the 1913 Russian Futurist opera. 2016 Biennale of Sydney, SCO. World Premiere.
- Fly Away Peter by Elliott Gyger and Pierce Wilcox. World Premiere in Sydney, 2nd season as part of the 2015 Melbourne Festival, SCO.
- ...pas à pas – nulle part... by György Kurtág. Australian Premiere and world-first staging as part of the 2014 Sydney Festival, SCO.
- Mayakovsky by Michael Smetanin and Alison Croggon. World Premiere, SCO.
- Climbing Toward Midnight by Jack Symonds. World Premiere, SCO.
- The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell Davies. SCO.
- Through The Gates, a semi-staged song cycle featuring works by Bach, Schubert and Shostakovich which took place amid the installations of Belgian artist Honoré δ’O. 2012 Biennale of Sydney, SCO.
- Nunc Dimittis by Jack Symonds. World Premiere, SCO.
- Notes from Underground by Jack Symonds and Pierce Wilcox. World Premiere, SCO.
In 2014, Mitch performed a number of Mediaeval and Renaissance programs with The Renaissance Players. Between 2011 and 2016, Mitch regularly performed in the chorus of Opera Australia.
Mitch talks with Resonant Bodies Australia co-director Jane Sheldon about the influence his studies at L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq have had on his approach to performing. They also discuss the voice, creating new work and the story behind The Shape of the Earth (premiered at the 2018 Resonant Bodies Festival Sydney)