The Yellow Wallpaper

A yellow wallpaper adorns the walls of the room in which a young woman undergoes an involuntary “rest” cure following a postpartum depression. The story of the obsession of this woman forced into isolation with the wallpaper’s unattractive colour and patterns carries an urgent message about social structures discriminatory to women that is still highly relevant today.

Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Clare Presland is an alluring reference point in the role of the woman who secretly tries to write her way out of captivity. Together with a pianist, a cellist, and a dancer, she redeems Dani Howard’s melancholic and extremely beautiful composition with libretto written by Joseph Spence

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Our Team

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Previous work with The Opera Story: Composer of “Robin Hood” (2019), Episodes: Glass Number Three / Nature: water and air (2020)

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Dani Howard


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First production with The Opera Story

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Amy Lane


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First production with The Opera Story

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Clare Presland


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First production with The Opera Story

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Valerie Ebuwa


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First production with The Opera Story

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Midori Jaeger


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Previously with The Opera Story: Repetiteur in “Snow” (2017), Repetiteur and Assistant Conductor in “Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs” (2018), Conductor in “Robin Hood” (2019), Piano in “The One with the Skype Call”, “Egg”, “Got your Goat”, “Love and Light” and “Life is Sweet, Life is Shit” (“Episodes” series, 2020), Conductor in “Beauty and the Seven Beasts” (2022)

Berrak Dyer


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First production with The Opera Story

Joseph Spence


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First production with The Opera Story

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Charlie Morgan Jones

Lighting Designer

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First production with The Opera Story

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Emma Ryott

Set and Costumes Designer

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Previously with The Opera Story: Pandora’s Box (2020)

Rachel Bell

Stage Manager

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First production with The Opera Story

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Damien Stanton

Associate Designer


Opera Now

The Yellow Wallpaper is a work that creates a comfortable zone to reflect on the past, and discuss how we want things to be as we move forward. The protagonist’s journey through isolation highlights the need to communicate, and though it may trigger difficult conversations it can help us explore how we take better care of each other


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A little bright yellow pearl finishes off Copenhagen Opera Festival array of newly written works, when the young composer Dani Howard captivates her audience with The Yellow Wallpaper

Financial Times

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Clare Presland sings the role with delicious clarity, velvety low down and steely high up. She cannily underplays the woman’s mental decline, leaving us to oscillate between sharing her delusion and seeing it for what it is. The same might be said for Howard’s entire score and Amy Lane production at the intimate Aveny-T theatre.


As an artwork it is profound. In execution it was compelling. Delivered by a team of top quality artists in harmony, with a common cause. The Yellow Wallpaper is opera with true purpose.


This small company stages a newly commissioned opera each year and the strike rate has been unusually high. The latest work and its staging were both exemplary… This further success for the company also speaks of the entrepreneurial and creative talents of those running it -exactly what’s needed in the business at higher levels, too.


I sat totally entranced by the opera as it moved along, delving into the thoughts of its character and taking us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions; but at the same time leaving us slightly uplifted by the end.

The Stage

⭐⭐⭐⭐  The piece holds together remarkably well, its unified approach underpinning its quietly terrifying power.

Planet Hugill

This opera was a remarkable, confident step for both Dani Howard and The Opera Story… This felt very much like a personal project, the opera was the shape it was because the creators felt it should be like that, and this was a terrific evening in the theatre. Wisely, the company did not try to perform it with anything else, for a first outing, The Yellow Wallpaper was strong on its own.

Sadler’s Wells Lilian Baylis Studio

183 Rosebery Ave, London EC1R 4TJ, United Kingdom

Many thanks to



London Community Foundation


John S. Cohen Foundation

Golsoncott Foundation


Individual Donors

  • Ivan Katzen (in memoriam)
  • Kate Olver & Jeremy Young
  • Robin Farr
  • Helen & Adam Gac
  • John Meltzer
  • Catherine Hubbard
  • Meriel & Jeremy Greenhalgh
  • Kelly Hong
  • Anna Andreyeva
  • David Roblou
  • Vladimir Vlaicu
  • John Ward
  • Martin Pickard
  • Fiona Jane Schopf
  • 5 anonymous donors