Photo from Mata Hari

Mata Hari is an exploration of love and survival of the famous woman whose exploits in espionage took her back and forth across WWI Europe and ultimately made her a scapegoat. Mata Hari is a hybrid work that pushes the operatic form with its electro-acoustic instrumentation, mixed vocal styles, physical theatre, manipulated video design, and melding of historical materials. Set in a Paris prison during the final months of her life, Mata Hari relives her tempestuous relationships with the men who loved and loathed her, and ultimately destroyed her. Mata Hari was commissioned by the HERE Arts Center New York and produced by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects for 2017 Prototype Festival.

Composer: Matt Marks
Librettist/Director: Paul Peers
Conductor: David Bloom
Scenic Designer: Neal Wilkinson
Light Designer: Lucrecia Briceno
Projection Designer: David Palmer
Costume Designer: Oana Botez
Sound Engineer: Isaac Jones
Choreographer: Anabella Lenzu
Stage Manager: Aislinn Curry

Mata Hari: Tina Mitchell
Sister Leonide: Mary MacKenzie
Cpt. Bouchardon: Jeffrey Gavett
Cpt. Ladoux: Daniel Neer
MacLeod/Col. Denvignes: Steve Hrycelak
Vadime/Spirit of Norman: Tomas Cruz
Col. Von Kalle: Joshua Jeremiah

Electric Guitar: James Moore
Piano: Mila Henry
Violin: Helen Yee
Accordion: Kamala Sankaram


“… Bracingly unsentimental...Mr. Marks's most striking innovation is a bold mix of vocal styles...the different sonic worlds came together poignantly...Mr. Peers's smart libretto adopts a process that peels away his title character's contradictions, unreliable memories, half-lies and compromising admissions in a way that subtly notches up the pathos…”- Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times

“… Absorbing, finely-crafted...opera, at its best, is a form that can dispatch narrative and dramatic complications with a single melody or modulation, and Mata Hari is full of intelligent dramatic thinking and fine musical craft”- George Grella, New York Classical Review

“… Mata Hari, a speaking role played by a commanding Tina Mitchell, gains our sympathy with ease‚ĶMary Mackenzie as the crass nun, and the only other female performer and only female singing voice, wins our support, too, by being the sole supporter of our persecuted hero. Every performer has moments to shine, and the stylistically mixed music by Matt Marks provides a welcome variety to the score. It lives by its own rules, just as Mata Hari did”- Rachel Karp, Contemporary Performance

“… Dramatically and theatrically as stunning as anything of this type I've seen in New York. Mr. Marks' Mata Hari was not only operatic, but the varied musical forms made it inventive and startling. Mr. Peers' management of the drama was faultless.”- Harry Rolnick, Contemporary ConcertoNet