Music Theatre Wales & Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

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

“We'll go up, you and me, together, hand in hand, no fear, no regrets.”

Y Tŵr explores the extremes of emotion experienced by two lovers over the course of a lifetime together, journeying from youth to old age, from love to despair, from desire to disillusionment.

In our new creative collaboration with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, composer Guto Puw and singer-songwriter-playwright Gwyneth Glyn breathe new life into Gwenlyn Parry’s disturbing and provocative play.

The result is an intense and intimate story of love and life based on the work of one of Wales’ most important playwrights, reimagined in new form as a touching and lyrical Welsh language chamber opera.

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




Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Pre-show: Sherman Theatre, 19/05/17, 18:30
Chaired by: Dr Rhiannon Williams
Panel: Arwel Gruffydd, Guto Puw, Ffion Haf Reynolds, Gwyneth Glyn

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Pre-show: Sherman Theatre 20/05/17, 18:30
Chaired by: Geraint Lewis
Panel: Guto Puw, Ffion Haf Reynolds

Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Post-show: Aberystwyth Arts Centre 23/05/17
Chaired by: Dr Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones
Panel: Arwel Gruffydd, Ffion Haf Reynolds, Roger Owen

Pontio, Bangor

Pre-show: Pontio 25/06/17
Chaired by: Elen ap Robert
Panel: Gwyneth Glyn, Guto Puw, John Ogwen, Maureen Rhys

Theatr Clwyd

Pre-show: Theatr Clwyd 05/06/17
Chaired by: Eifion Lloyd Jones
Panel: Gwyneth Glyn, Ffion Haf Reynolds