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MTW digital opera: GRIEF


A feeling felt by many but spoken about by few.

GRIEF paints the picture of the pages and stages that we go through when encountering the many aspects that make up grief. Through original music composed by Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, movement choreographed and performed by Arnold Matsena, and spoken word written and performed by Connor Allen, GRIEF explores the impact of loss from the perspective of the body. It is an intimate, physical exploration of continually grappling with the residual energy and volatility of emotion that accompany grieving.

This digital opera short by Connor Allen and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers escorts us through the emotional spectrum of grief, from the shock of initial impact to eventual acceptance. By harmoniously blending music, spoken word, sung text, movement, and film into a cohesive narrative arc, GRIEF ventures beyond traditional opera boundaries. It prompts us to consider grief as a multifaceted entity, like a book on a shelf that reveals different insights upon each visit.

This project emerges from the unique collaboration between writer/performer Connor Allen and composer, musician and actor Francesca Amewudah-Rivers. Their joint venture transcends individual contributions, crafting an experience that is profoundly more impactful than its constituent parts. Uniting two artists, previously unacquainted with opera, and foregrounding music with the integration of operatic vocals, GRIEF delivers a compelling and deeply personal exploration. It directly engages with Music Theatre Wales's foundational questions: What is opera? Who is making it? And crucially, who is it for?

Music Composed and Produced by Francesca Amewudah-Rivers

Text Written and Performed by Connor Allen

Directed by Connor Allen and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers


  • Baritone - Byron Jackson

  • Dancer and Choreographer - Arnold Matsena

  • Additional Vocals - Francesca Amewudah-Rivers

Musicians from Sinfonia Cymru:

  • Violins - Daniel Jung, Simmy Singh

  • Cello - Garwyn Linnell

Filmed by REDBRCK at Firebug StudiosMusic recorded at Tŷ Cerdd Studio


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