The pig as metaphor has historically been used to represent often mutually contradictory concepts – wealth and poverty, celebration and revulsion, luck and greed – but it never fails to be powerfully apt to help us humans get a clearer picture of ourselves. Just as humans hide behind pigs, so does gastronomy hide behind beauty. We often see ourselves as pigs in all the complex and paradoxical symbolism that sways within us and all the analogies that history has dressed pigs with, to a point where a great variety of reasons have been invoked for banning their meat from some tables.

In Pig Opera, Simone Mattar has created a piece which accommodates the listener’s demands: whether serious or comic, long or short, thoughtful or prosaic, it is the listener who decides how and when to listen. It is an opera for the 21st century, with the potential to bring together such diverse manifestations as visual arts, electronic insertions and Simone’s concept of gastroperfomance.

Opera is perhaps the least realistic of all arts. Every word struts out in song upon the stage and is undergirded by a peculiar aesthetics that blends narrative, sound, visual flux, theatre and music, all intertwined in stories about characters real or fantastical, mythical or metaphorical, all orchestrated to give us an experience of the absurd and the extravagant in the world.