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The Lighthouse

Peter Maxwell Davies’s haunting opera is an atmospheric combination of a detective mystery and a ghost story.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of The Lighthouse. It was last on stage 11–13 October 2012.

Introduction

Set in the 1900s, the opera explores the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from the Outer Hebrides through a mixture of courtroom testimony and fantastical flashbacks.

Background

Peter Maxwell Davies’s 1980 opera about the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from the remote Flannan Isles is his most frequently performed. It is based on a real-life account, found in Craig Mair’s book, A Star for Seamen: The Stevenson Family of Engineers.

Davies’s rhythmic, inventive score demands high levels of virtuosity from the cast of three singers and the 12-piece band. The windy and rain-lashed Flannan Isles are powerfully conjured, along with the tense atmosphere that brews in the close confines of the lighthouse. This production by Ted Huffman had its premiere at the Linbury Studio Theatre in 2012.