The Lighthouse

The three singers, who seemed untroubled by the virtuosic demands made upon them, created strongly individualised characters and intimated relationships as unstable and potentially volatile as the weather outside.—Claire Seymour

Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse is a claustrophobic and at times disturbing work that tells the the story of the mysterious disappearance of all three keepers from a lighthouse on a remote Scottish island. Questions of reality and narrative are at the forefront as the first act presents the at times inconsistent testimony to a board of inquiry of three officers sent to relieve the keepers.

Act two then shows a version of what might have happened inside the lighthouse as a descent into madness as the three keepers succumb to demons from their past and within. The three officers and the three keepers are played by the same three singers, raising further questions as to what happened in the lighthouse when the relief boat arrived there.

Shadwell Opera’s production was presented in the Hackney Showroom. Owain played Officer 2 / Blazes alongside Pauls Putnins and Paul Curievici in a critically acclaimed show that pushed performers and audiences to their limits and was one of Mark Valencia’s picks for What’s on Stage’s top 10 operas of the year.


Reviews and other press coverage of The Lightouse:

The Stage review: “a nerve-shredding performance:” ★★★★ by Amanda Holloway

Planet Hugil review: “A raw spine tingling delight” by Alex Evans

Opera Today review by Claire Seymour

What’s On Stage review: “a ghost opera that delivers real chills.” ★★★★ by Mark Valencia

Interview with director Jack Furness: “Ghost stories & true stories

Browne truly ‘blazed’ in a violent account of abuse in which guttural splutterings and falsetto shrieks took us to the world of Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King—Opera Today