I confess. I’ve written the odd TV jingle.
Whenever I cross the road from that crumbly, damp bungalow that is the arts world to the swank, gleaming palaces of the commercial sector, I inevitably have the feeling there must be a hidden camera – surely this can’t be for real? Advertising, with it’s vast budgets and well-paid employees intoning seriously about even the most bizarre and ludicrous products, seems to be satire all on it’s own. How could I not write an opera about it?
All events in the opera are true, the dialogue is verbatim. You believe me, right?
PMW July 2008
Budgets are huge, deadlines are tight, truth is pliable and the fate of a new cheese cracker hangs in the balance…Jez runs an agency making adverts for TV. It’s easy money…except that the next campaign to promote ‘Cheesy Moments’ is disastrously off course – his partner David is sleeping with Sally, creative from his main rivals. Sally’s married to Simon who’s competing for the jingle slot. Meanwhile, Jez’s wife Fifi has caught him with another woman and Billy, the celebrity in the ad, has finally gone insane and believes he’s God, while Paul, who owns the cheese cracker company, is a neurotic control freak who can’t let go. And the ad in question goes on air……TOMORROW!!??
Libretto and score: Pete M Wyer. Directed by Matthew Sharp
Cast: Loré Lixenberg, Natalie Raybould, Darren Abrahams, Matthew Sharp
SharpWire are international cellist/singer/theatre performer Matthew Sharp and transatlantic composer/writer/guitarist Pete M. Wyer. Their startlingly original, spellbinding excursions into uncharted music theatre territory have been acclaimed around the world. Ravishing music, engaging and entrancing narrative, sonic and visual wizardry and virtuoso performance are touchstones of their work so far.
Collectively they have worked with the BBC, ENO, Opera North, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Young Vic, Lincoln Center, RPO, LPO, Sony, Naxos, Avie and Thirsty Ear Records, Carol Brown, Jessica Lang, Miro Dance Theatre, Phyllida Lloyd, Tim Supple, John Keane and Brian Eno, amongst many others
Since forming in 2004 they have made three shows. Adam’s Apple toured the UK (This Way Up UK Tour 2004) and the US, Johnny’s Midnight Goggles (supported by Tête à Tête Opera, Caravan Assembly and Brighton Festival) will tour in 2008 and Cremenville (supported by Opera North, ACE and Farnham Maltings) will tour in 2009.
‘You Must Have This’ was written thanks to a MacDowell Fellowship, which was awarded to Pete M Wyer earlier this year.