Photo: Timothy Lutton


Violet: A New Opera

Music Theatre Wales, Cardiff, Great Britain

As the UK’s only full time contemporary opera company, Music Theatre Wales (MTW) holds a unique place in British opera, consistently producing work to the highest artistic standards and presenting audiences with exciting new work: 17 commissions + 8 UK premieres of masterpieces by living composers. Violet is a co-commission and co-production by MTW, (lead producer), Aldeburgh Festival and Theater Magdeburg. All UK performances will be performed with the London Sinfonietta. Initially inspired by a story by Edgar Allan Poe, Violet follows the story of woman whose life travels in the opposite direction to most female leads in opera: she begins trapped and isolated in a highly regulated society, but ends strong and independent. The opera is a collaboration of composer Tom Coult and playwright Alice Birch.

The story is set in a small village which runs on a strict schedule dictated by the village clock, and managed by the men in authority. As the clock inexplicably begins to lose one hour each day, temperatures rise and floods threaten. Violet is the wife of the Mayor and, at the outset, she is clearly stifled and unhappy. As the days get progressively shorter the destabilising effects are felt by all the characters, relationships and roles shift and the certainties of life crumble - for all except Violet. She sees what’s happening as an opportunity, and is excited at the chance to break out and start a new life in a different world.

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