A co-commission and co-production between Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera Music: Huw Watkins Libretto: David Harsent based on a short story by Thomas Hardy

A closed door sparks an obsession so strong that the boundaries between reality and fantasy begin to blur. Taking Thomas Hardy’s short story as its starting point, this contemporary take on the novella explores the power the mind can have over a person’s actions. 


First Performance: Thursday 27 September 2012 – Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House


  • Ella Ruby Hughes
  • Susan Louise Winter
  • Stephen Paul Curievici
  • Pascoe Håkan Vramsmo


  • Conductor Michael Rafferty
  • Director Michael McCarthy
  • Designer Samal Blak
  • Lighting Designer Ace McCarron


“The tragedy which ensues is adroitly handled by Harsent, but it is Huw Watkins' score which brings it to dramatic life. Leanly but purposefully orchestrated, it is marked by a tensely repressed sensuality and some beautifully modulated vocal writing.. thanks to the sustained and enmeshed economy and focus of text and music, I was gripped throughout. Michael McCarthy's lucid and supple production is expertly executed by the cast of four."

The Telegraph