THE fifth concert in the Courtyard's cutting-edge Music for the 21st Century season comes to Hereford on Saturday, July 14 with a major new opera, Music Theatre Wales' widely acclaimed production of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's 'The Lighthouse'.

A potent alchemy of traditional ghost story and psychological thriller, 'The Lighthouse' tells the disturbing true tale of the unexplained disappearance one hundred years ago of three lighthouse keepers from one of the country's most remote coastal outstations.

Towering 75 foot over the sea, the Fladda lighthouse was built on the largest of a cluster of islands that make up the Flannan Isles off the coast of Scotland. On Boxing Day 1900, three men arrived at Fladda to relieve James Ducat, Thomas Marshall and Donald MacArthur of their watch. On arrival they found no sign of life - the men had disappeared. No bodies were ever found and an exhaustive enquiry revealed nothing.

In time, the mystery became set in folklore with stories abounding of a murderous 'Phantom of Seven Hunters', a nebulous being who claimed the men in revenge for the lighthouse being built on its territory.

"Maxwell-Davies uses evidence from the official enquiry alongside the drama of the disappearance to tell a spine-tingling story praised by critics and audiences alike," said Lee Collins, The Courtyard's Marketing Officer.

"With a taut score, ingenious sets and atmospheric lighting, 'The Lighthouse' promises to be spectacular, thrilling - and a rare opportunity to see a new piece of contemporary music in Herefordshire."

This eerie opera will be at the Courtyard on Saturday, July 14 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the Courtyard box office on 01432 359252 and Tourist Information Centres in Hereford, Ross, Ledbury and Leominster.