Orlando Gough: I am very wary of trying to turn novels into operas, but We Have Always Lived in the Castle is different. A disturbing, disorientating story that made me roar with laughter. Two wonderful main characters, both female - the weird, unreliable Merricat and the delicate, dependable Constance - living a strange isolation. Merricat, frightened by change, often in her own world, a world of spells and talismans, confiding in her cat. Constance and Merricat in their world, loving, tetchy, with a curious ritual formality. Constance struggling to protect Merricat from the outside world but herself tempted to join it. And, threatening their isolation, a cousin who arrives in search of riches, and a crowd of villagers who are resentful, suspicious, frightened of the two sisters. What a gift to a composer!

Listen to some of Orlando's music here: