By Guto Puw and Gwyneth Glyn
Based on the play by Gwenlyn Parry

In a new creative collaboration with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Y Tŵr explores life’s all too brief struggle, from youth to old-age, from love to despair, from desire to disillusionment.

Based on the work of one of Wales’ most important playwrights, writer Gwyneth Glyn and composer Guto Puw breathe new life into Gwenlyn Parry’s disturbing and provocative play, creating an intense and searching new chamber opera.

Personal and universal. Particular and timeless.

The production will be sung in Welsh with English surtitles


Y Tŵr explores the extremes of human emotion experienced by two lovers over the course of a lifetime. It is abundant in the depth and intensity of feeling that opera demands. Y Tŵr is at once an intimate story of betrayal and disillusionment, and at the same time a metaphor for any male-female relationship with all its complexities and paradox. Its dual nature, personal and universal, particular and timeless, lends itself naturally to opera. The tension that drives the original play is that between fantasy and reality; between what is and what might have been. I believe the medium of opera could explore and expose this tension to its full capacity.

Gwyneth Glyn, Librettist


The basic premise of the work is to follow two people as they move through life together, exploring their relationship as they move from youthful urgings to coming to terms with the end of life. Working with designer Samal Blak, we have decided to embrace the physical aspect of aging as the overarching approach to the production. We will provide the performers with dressing tables and watch them go through the process of becoming older as the opera advances, thus bringing the audience into the inner world of the characters as they age by encouraging them to accept the theatrical device that demonstrates it. Our other starting point has been to look at contemporary versions of vanitas paintings – still lifes especially popular in 17th century Dutch painting which explored the idea of portraying a mortal life in a single image.”

Michael McCarthy, Director



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All Production Photography Clive Barda unless otherwise stated | All copyright Music Theatre Wales 2017.