"Absolutely brilliant. One of the most powerful and compassionate evenings I've had in the theatre for a while..."
-John Maytham, Cape Talk
"...enthrallingly beautiful, a unique and artistiacally exquisite portrayal of mental illness, neither glamorised nor falsified...the elements seamlessly coalesce as a deeply stirring whole."
-Bronwen Knox, WhatsoninCapeTown
"...this is a production which begins a neglected conversation which is so desperately needed."
-Tracey Saunders, Heart of Theatre
Photo credits: Andrew Brown
Following its acclaimed success at the World Psychiatry International Congress and its once-off performance at the Baxter in December 2016, Madness: Songs of Hope and Despair, ran at the Baxter from the 9th to the 19th Februaury 2017.
The cantata subsequently featured as part of the online MOOC course “Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare", and was screened by the Institute for Creative Arts as part of the 2017 Medical Humanities lecture series in September.
The cantata was conceived by psychiatrist Dr. Sean Baumann who wrote the libretto and approached composer Galina Juritz. Galina worked in collaboration with famed musician and composer Dizu Plaatjies, illustrator Fiona Moodie and video artist Koeka Stander to bring the 80 minute audio-visual work to life. The production brought mental illness and psychotic experiences into the spotlight using a combination of music and sound design, song and imagery in an attempt to portray the complexities and also the wonder of these strange and ultimately unknowable worlds. The live ensemble featured nine opera singers and seven musicians conducted by Chad Hendricks.