'... a cracking psychological drama ...' Richard Morrison, The Times *****
Guto Puw (b.1971)
Sung in Welsh with English surtitles
Libretto by Gwyneth Glyn.
A new opera in three acts, based on the play by Gwenlyn Parry
Y Tŵr was commissioned by Music Theatre Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Pontio.
The opera was developed with support from Arts Council of Wales by way of a Theatre Production Development Grant and an Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales Award to Guto Puw.
Y Tŵr is a co-production by Music Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, supported by Arts Council of Wales and by The Colwinston Charitable Trust through its 125th Anniversary Special Grants Fund.
The world premiere was presented by the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Sherman Theatre on Friday 19 May, 2017.
Sung in Welsh with English side-titles
Following its recent triumphs at Buxton Festival with The Golden Dragon, The Killing Flower and Greek, Music Theatre Wales returns with another compelling new opera, directed by Michael McCarthy, in a co-production with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh-language National Theatre of Wales.
Y Tŵr explores the extremes of emotion experienced by two lovers over the course of a lifetime together. Based on the work of one of Wales’ most important playwrights, this touching and lyrical new opera is an intimate story of love and life set within The Tower of its title – a metaphor for any relationship with all its complexities and challenges. Gwenlyn Parry’s acclaimed play is brought to new life by composer Guto Puw and singer-songwriter-playwright Gwyneth Glyn.
Act I – Summer. A young couple in the first flush of love.
The young woman enters the tower, reluctantly followed by her boyfriend. She is impetuous but He is hesitant, and they start to work out how to be together, how to love and how to see life through to the end. They promise to be honest with each other. After a storm, He dreams about owning a fast motorbike, which She misinterprets as a sexual fantasy. She then talks about a dream she has about a butterfly flying through a field and landing on someone’s face. After they make love, and a train passes outside, She wants to go up the stairs, to the next level, but He resists until She reveals that she is pregnant.
Act II – Autumn. Middle-age.
They return from dinner with His boss, DJ. He is a bit worse for wear and boasts about his close relationship with DJ, before accusing Her of flirting with the boss. They both seem bitter and disappointed with life. Time continues to pass. A train is heard in the distance. They share fleeting memories and she wonders if their son Gwyn will visit. He focusses on his work, but ultimately receives the news that he has lost his job. He feels utterly useless and hopeless, but She is preparing to go out. He lashes out at Her and finds DJ’s lighter amongst her things – she has been having an affair with his boss. Enraged, He attacks Her but is utterly emasculated. He goes up to the the next floor, leaving her staring after him.
Act III – Winter. Old-age.
It is snowing. The signs of old age are increasingly evident. They start to recall the past and share the promise they made to each other at the start of their lives together, not to lie to each other when the time comes. She asks him to end her life with dignity. To cheer things up, He puts out the Christmas decorations and they start to enjoy happy memories, but he collapses. Waking from her own nightmare about the butterfly, She offers him some simple food and comforts him with thoughts about returning to Torremolinos. He is fading fast, and She administers medication to ease him on his way. After He dies he rises from his body, no longer burdened by life. For the third time, She hears a train pass in the distance.
17 July 2017
7.15pm - 9.30pm
£16 - £55
Buxton Opera House