An opera director’s apartment in Cape Town is the perfect backdrop for his creative lifestyle
Matthew Wild was furiously packing his suitcase. His flight to Stockholm was at 4pm and it was already 3pm when we popped in for a chat at his apartment in Cape Town’s City Bowl. This isn’t the first time he’s travelled to Sweden in a rush. With a career in theatre direction, he’s taken his productions to playhouses as far removed as Australia and Dublin, and from his trips abroad he’s picked up a love for design, especially that from Scandinavia. When he gets back home, no doubt with a suitcase full of decor buys, he’ll be directing Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at The Fugard Theatre, set to open in July. With a profession that requires a fair amount of travel, Matthew needed a lock-up-and-go close to Cape Town Opera, where he works as a dramaturge and opera director. When he found this space, while ‘dreadfully yellow’, he knew it would be just the place for his burgeoning collection of contemporary furniture and decor, though in desperate need of a revamp. ‘A lot of my work deals with a «poppy», highly coloured aesthetic. I wanted my home’s style to be neutral. Something that feels like a blank canvas/ says Matthew, and so the largely open brief was born. He called in architect Chris van Niekerk from The Fold to take on the renovation. The result is seamless, with industrial elements, such as the copper piping that works its way along the ceiling down into a striking pendant lamp, and features that celebrate Matthew’s passion for music -from the cabinets with grooves reflecting sound waves to a cupboard that s a ‘shrine’ for his albums. ‘It’s the perfect space to do creative work and to brainstorm.