Shadow Opera is a collective that creates and curates innovative music theatre experiences, both championing new work and reframing existing repertoire in intriguing ways. Shadow has created several new works for the stage and also curated an interdisciplinary film-cabaret night. Interested in finding different ways to explore operatic storytelling and new music, the groups's latest work, Veritable Michael, is an original 'podcast opera'.
Founded in 2010 by composer and conductor Tom Floyd and director Deborah Cohen, Shadow’s debut production was Tom’s first chamber opera The Nightingale and The Rose, based on the short story by Oscar Wilde with libretto by David Spittle, at The Gate Arts Centre (Cardiff).
After the success of this first venture, Tom and David went to write their second opera, The Shadow of the Wave, which premiered at The Gate Arts Centre in 2011. Shadow Opera was invited by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to perform a double bill of both works at the newly built Richard Burton Theatre, as part of the college’s opening celebrations. Since then both productions have been produced for Gloucester Cathedral and Tête à Tête Opera Festival in London.
In 2013 Shadow Opera were invited back to Tête à Tête to premiere the first act of Tom and David’s adaptation of Voltaire’s short story, Micromegas, to great acclaim. This production featured the performances of James Long and Sophie Goldrick, who subsequently joined Shadow Opera as producers.
2017 saw the first of Shadow’s curated projects with Stop All the Clocks at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham. Shadow's creative team worked with a number of young filmmakers from Arts College London to create original films to illuminate some of the best 20th Century cabaret music. Performed in a gallery space, it featured opera singers, animation, burlesque and solo piano repertoire in an informal cabaret atmosphere.
Not long after Stop All the Clocks, the seeds of their latest project, Veritable Michael, were sown. This began to take shape during the pandemic hiatus of 2020, with podcast opera being the perfect medium for socially distanced musical storytelling.