Director's Blog: Y Tŵr - Week 3

Well, we’ve got to the end of Week 3 and to the end of the opera – more or less...

Act III is just as it should be: Stripped back, less active but no less intense, and hopefully, deeply moving. This is the Act that explores the end of life, but Parry’s original play and Guto Puw’s music do this with great humanity and insight. It is sad, but it is also the most basic and universal truth about being alive – it is finite. How we deal with this is the critical thing. And in this opera, it is very much about how we deal with it as a couple. That said, the ending of the piece is far from sad or defeatist. Personally I think it is uplifting and very much about living: We must seize the day, make the most of the moment, live life and not become burdened by the business of living. Our characters explore this and face their mortality. This is wonderful to explore in a new opera, and it must have been dynamite in 1978 when the play was first performed. To be released of the burden of living is a wonderful thing, and somehow this is a lesson for life itself!

Having got to the end of the opera there is little doubt that everyone was exhausted today – as much a psychological reaction as a physical and mental reality! There are a lot of notes and words to learn and realise, but every moment is valuable and special. As anticipated, the presentation of old age has been revealing and fascinating, and working out how to continue the process of ageing through the final act, not to mention the entire opera, is on-going.

I feel honoured to have the opportunity to bring this opera to life and to have a hand in bringing Guto Puw and Gwyneth Glyn to the wonderful world of creating new opera. It is especially thrilling to be producing the first ever opera commissioned in Welsh for professional forces – a Welsh piece that has true universality.

One more week in the rehearsal room to pull it all together!