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Palace of Junk

A new telling of the tragic, true story of the New York's infamous Collyer brothers - and their hoarding disorder - for voice, chamber orchestra and electronics.

Metta Theatre
Oliver Brignall – composer
Poppy Burton-Morgan – director/libretto

Palace of Junk is a new opera telling the tragic tale of two brothers who died inside their home amongst 140 tons of junk. We explore the hoarders’ experience and interior world through accumulated sound, music, noise and video projection.

21 March 1947. News breaks that Homer Collyer, one half of New York’s most famous hoarders, has been found dead in his New York brownstone apartment and his brother Langley is missing... Simultaneously we meet a contemporary clinical psychologist offering us a lecture on hoarding through the medium of operatic aria.

With as many as 1 in 100 people across the UK suffering from hoarding disorder, this emotionally powerful new opera offers insight into a surprisingly popular yet little understood condition.

Palace of Junk was selected through this year's open call process. The piece is being created by Exeter Northcott associate company Metta Theatre, led by director and librettist Poppy Burton-Morgan working with composer/singer Oliver Brignall.

Performing forces:  4 singers (S,M,Bar,Bar), small ensemble (5 instrumentalists and found objects) plus electronics

About the artists' work


“A company to watch”
The Spectator on Metta Theatre

“Metta Theatre is certainly a force to be reckoned with, positively bursting with imagination, talent and creativity”
West End Wilm

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A new telling of the tragic, true story of the New York's infamous Collyer brothers.

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