Opera and Music Theatre
Many of the original Radius concerts included new chamber opera / music theatre works, and today Radius is primarily a producer of new opera and music theatre, with shows ranging from small one-singer pieces to full-length, large-scale productions.
Rest in Peace
Presented alongside Silent Jack as LIFE STORIES, Rest in Peace is based on a short story by Chekhov, and toured nationally in the UK in July 2015 (NEW: now touring again in 2016), and subsequently appearing at the Tête-à-Tête opera festival.
The principal role, EZDEYEV, was sung by James Fisher (bass).
Rest in Peace: Production photos
His Sorrowful Lamentation and Last Farewell to the World
Presented alongside Rest in Peace as LIFE STORIES, Silent Jack is based an original short story by Anthony Peter and Tim Benjamin, and toured nationally in the UK in July 2015 (NEW: now touring again in 2016), and subsequently appearing at the Tête-à-Tête opera festival.
The title role, also known as AMY BEDDOES, was sung by Taylor Wilson (mezzo-soprano).
Silent Jack: Production photos
“Fierce and fiery performances ... this production is a gem”
“Life Stories is the evening for you. A pithy, prescient two-parter, Life Stories bounces one tale off another and leaves us asking for more.”
“A masterclass ... twice over. If Harold Pinter had ever written an opera, this would surely be it”
“...a death scene of rare power that is profoundly tragic and deeply credible”
“A brilliant all-round performance ... Benjamin’s composition was provocative and quite beautiful. This opera offers new and exciting music performed to a very high standard”
—A Younger Theatre
“...a truly remarkable performance that is nearly unheard of within smaller opera companies and festivals...”
“A joy from start to finish”
“Succeeds in sustaining interest over nearly two hours ... The fluent, well-crafted score offers some striking moments”
“Shining with a refreshing energy ... beautifully composed with many delicious flavours and shades.”
—A Younger Theatre
“Beautiful voices across the board ... Exquisite, inherently melancholy and ultimately soul-bearing”
“An intriguing bit of weirdness ... thrills”
—The Evening Standard
“Strong performances and theatrical flair”
“I know what constitutes a great evening out and I would certainly recommend this”
“An intriguing new opera that is definitely worth seeing”
—UK Theatre Network
“Accessible and tuneful ... well worth a visit and there's a sting in the tail”
“Impressive and in excellent voice ... enjoyable - especially if you enjoy new opera”
—I Care If You Listen
The original 2014 cast was:
- Masetto: Tom Morrs
- Zerlina: Laura Sheerin
- Botney: Jon Stainsby
- Lady Brannoch: Taylor Wilson
- Mr Wilmore: Marc Callahan
- Wife #1, #2: Rebecca Moon, Sophie Dicks
- Husband #1, #2: Edwin Mansfield, Owain Browne
- Director: Tim Benjamin
- Designer: Lara Booth
- Music director: Antony Brannick
The Rosenhan Experiment
First performed by Radius (with Robert Ogden in the title role) at the Purcell Room, London, and then on tour in 2008, The Rosenhan Experiment has been given a new orchestration by composer Tim Benjamin and featured in the 2013 New Music North West festival in Manchester, again with Robert Ogden.
“An excellent work, performed convincingly. There was a first-rate sense of ensemble ... and Benjamin used the forces available to full effect … mention should also be made of the brilliant piano writing. A memorable performance, which appealed musically, dramatically and intellectually”
—Seen & Heard
Emily is a full-length opera about the Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, and the world premiere production took place in West Yorkshire, July 2013, to large audiences and critical acclaim.
“It brought the house down ... a tribute to the composer and the utterly convincing singers”
—Seen & Heard
“A gorgeous crescendo and a powerful epilogue ... They have created quite a feat”
“An enchanting visual spectacle, with incredible voices and haunting, hypnotic music ... it even managed to get me to rethink opera”
Le Gâteau d’Anniversaire
Le Gâteau d’Anniversaire was commissioned from Tim Benjamin by CNIPAL in France, and was first performed by CNIPAL at the Opéra de Marseille. It was subsequently performed in a new production by Radius in 2010 at London’s Southbank Centre, together with ReSound.
Based on the poem of the same name by Carol Ann Duffy (with permission), Mrs Lazarus was first performed by Radius with Danae Eleni in the title role at the Purcell Room in 2009. More recently, the role of Mrs Lazarus has been performed by Rebecca Lea, at the RNCM in Manchester, produced together with ReSound.
“Radius was on top form, by turns exuberantly eloquent and eloquently exuberant … Their world premiere reading of Benjamin’s Mrs Lazarus spoke volumes for the combined imaginative powers of composer and performers. Benjamin clearly has the energy and vision required to inject fresh life into the art form”
“Benjamin is making a speciality of music theatre works, and Mrs Lazarus ... was a particularly successful example”
A Dream of England
Composed for the Darwin 200th Anniversary celebrations, A Dream of England was first performed at Wigmore Hall in London in 2009, in a semi-staged production, with Raymond Blankenhorn in the title role.
“The performance engaged throughout ... Blankenhorn proved charming. He was interesting and interested without ever being too forward in the characterisation. The music was the most impressive we’d heard all night … the performers were full of poise and purpose”
The Corley Conspiracy
Commissioned by and first performed at The London Design Festival 2007, The Corley Conspiracy enters the dark world of an online conspiracy theorist. This production featured a giant cinema-screen projecting a close-up of Corley's eyes!
The work was presented as the second half of a Radius programme, with a selection of "taster" pieces for solo instrumentalists in the short first half, after which the audience returned to a transformed Purcell Room.
“Corley’s story is one that needs to be told, and it is told using music that needs to be listened to. If you’re in London, if you’re listening, go”