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The Shadow of the Wave


The Gate (Cardiff, Summer 2011)

Further performances:

The Richard Burton Theatre (Cardiff, Summer 2011)

The Tete a Tete Opera Festival (Hammersmith, Summer 2012)

Creative Team

Composer/conductor: Tom Floyd

Librettist: David Spittle

Director: Deborah Cohen

Designer: Vicki Male


Original Cast:

Adam – Roberto Abate

Alamar – Owain Browne

Anima – Justin Kim

Gala – Sarah Reddin

Scarlett – Dorothea Herbert

In claustrophobic proximity two couples find themselves in a conflict of madness and waking dreams. The Shadow of the Wave follows Alamar in his journey through ever more troubled waters.


“This Opera is a very well-made piece, with many features in common with the well-made plays that used to be common in the West End… The music of Shadow is attractive, mellifluous, continuous. There are two couples — sophisticated, articulate, heavy drinkers: one couple is an artist and tortured, and his wife; the other her neurotic sister and her businessman husband. As they get into various kinds of upset, they are accompanied by a 14-piece orchestra. There is also a mysterious figure, Anima (sung by Justin Kim) who watches the proceedings and periodically sings eerily about them; in some ways he is the most striking feature of the work.

The music of Shadow is attractive, mellifluous, continuous. As usual, I couldn’t resist thinking which better-known composers it was like, and the nearest I came was Tippett, but that may be because of the subject-matter. Though the orchestra played alongside the action, it never drowned it, and the singers, mostly articulating with a clarity I’ve always hoped for, gave maximum value to David Spittle’s fluent drama. The role of Scarlett, the seductive and unbalanced sister-in-law, was impressively well performed in all respects by Dorothea Herbert; she alone had a lengthy and demanding solo, and made me want to see her in something I know, though I’d have been happy to see Shadow again if it hadn’t, as Tête à Tête operas do, had to give way to the next show.

The Spectator ****

The Shadow of The Wave - Interlude V
The Shadow of The Wave - Interlude V

The Shadow of The Wave - Interlude V

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The Shadow of The Wave - Tete a Tete August 2012

The Shadow of The Wave - Tete a Tete August 2012

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