Stephanie Stanway and Meinir Wyn Roberts backstage in Emily (2013)
Pictured: Stephanie Stanway and Meinir Wyn Roberts backstage during Emily (2013)

Our Story

About Radius Opera

The Radius Opera Company was founded as “Radius” in 2007, specialising in contemporary classical chamber music. With a reputation for outstanding musicianship and innovative ideas, the high standard of our performances has been critically acclaimed by the national and musical press. Since our debut at London’s Wigmore Hall we have appeared at numerous venues, at festivals and on tour, and have given the first performances of many new pieces.

Today, Radius specialises in the production of outstanding contemporary opera and music theatre, having given the world première of no fewer than nine such works.

Team

  • Tim Benjamin
    Tim Benjamin

    Artistic Director

    Tim Benjamin

    Tim Benjamin is a composer, known for his work in opera, as well as in film and TV. His works include the critically acclaimed RIP and Silent Jack (presented together as Life Stories, 2015), Madame X (2014) and Emily (2013), along with music for the concert hall, a substantial body of chamber music and the large-scale oratorio Herakles (2016). He is also an award-winning director for screen and stage, a writer, and a public speaker.

    Tim studied at Oxford University with Robert Saxton, at the RNCM with Anthony Gilbert, and privately with the late Steve Martland, in whose memory he created the SAM Summer School's Steve Martland Scholarship.

    www.timbenjamin.com

  • Ellie Slorach
    Ellie Slorach

    Music Director

    Ellie Slorach

    Ellie is the Musical Director of Chester Festival Chorus, Stafford Choral Society and St Peter’s Church, Hale, the Associate Conductor of Manchester Chamber Choir, and is the Founder and Artistic Director of Kantos Chamber Choir. Ellie regularly directs for the BBC Radio 4 Daily Service and Sunday Worship broadcasts. She is the Assistant Director of the Hallé Youth Choir and regularly assists Jonathon Heyward with the Hallé Youth Orchestra, and has also worked with the Hallé Choir and the BBC Philharmonic.

    Ellie holds a First Class degree in Music from the University of Manchester and a Masters degree with Distinction in Conducting from the Royal Northern College of Music, where she took part in masterclasses with Sir Mark Elder and David Hill.

    A prize winner in Romania at the 2018 Gheorghe Dima International Choir Conducting Competition, Ellie is also selected for the 2018 Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme with Marin Alsop in Aldeburgh, and the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Women Conductors programme.

  • Anthony Peter
    Anthony Peter

    Company Mentor

    Anthony Peter

    Anthony Peter taught English and Drama for 37 years. For 10 of those he was Director of Drama at Wellington College where he directed once a year and produced 5 or 6 other plays. His interests now lie in being the “extra pair of eyes in the room“, working with Tim Benjamin on libretti, and helping Radius productions to be happy ones for the cast and crew.

    “My first experience of an opera audition - Emily. Totally blown away by singers' volume, skill and artistry. Confirmed by sing-throughs: never witnessed such professional preparation by artistes before.”
    Anthony Peter

Foundation and early years

Radius was founded by Tim Benjamin and Ian Vine in 2007, based on the legendary Fires of London setup. Our debut appearance was at Wigmore Hall, London, in April of that year, and included two world premieres, along with works by Cage, Andriessen, Berio, and Carter.

The combination of brand-new music alongside works by 20th and 21st century masters was, at first, our modus operandi. During this period we gave no fewer than 18 world premieres of works by 8 different composers, including several Radius commissions.

Founder members

Violin
Daniel Rowland
Cello
Oliver Coates
Flute
Jennifer George
Clarinet
Charys Green
Piano
John Reid
Percussion
Adrian Spillett

“An enviable assortment of gifted young players ... this concert was brilliantly executed and conceived.”
New Notes, May 2007

The original Radius line-up

L to R: John Reid, Charys Green, Adrian Spillett, Tim Benjamin, Oliver Coates, Jennifer George, Ian Vine (2007)

“The performance by the young contemporary music ensemble Radius was exceptionally assured”
Classical Music, December 2007

“It is a pleasure to hear an ensemble of Radius's quality testing the Wigmore’s acoustic”
The Rambler, January 2008

From theatre in the concert hall...

Quite early in the story of Radius, we included semi-dramatic works in our concert hall performances, in keeping with our Fires of London inspiration. It was a commission from the London Design Festival – The Corley Conspiracy – which ignited our move to more fully-staged works, and ultimately to our present incarnation as a fully-fledged opera company.

The Corley Conspiracy
Programme (PDF)
19th-21st September 2007, Southbank Centre, London
The Rosenhan Experiment
Programme (PDF)
25th May 2008, Southbank Centre, London
A Dream Of England
Programme (PDF)
18th June 2009, Wigmore Hall, London
Mrs Lazarus
Programme (PDF)
21st October 2009, Southbank Centre, London

The Corley Conspiracy, London, 2007

“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.”
The Guardian, September 2007

The Rosenhan Experiment is a fine work, full of impact ... this was a memorable performance, which appealed musically, dramatically and intellectually”
Seen And Heard, May 2008

... to the opera stage

Coinciding with our relocation from London to West Yorkshire, Radius became The Radius Opera Company, and we began mounting fully-staged operas. We revived earlier works in more complete theatrical productions, and devised entirely new, ambitious works for the opera stage.

This period of Radius Opera's story was also begun with a commission, for Le Gâteau d’Anniversaire by CNIPAL in France, where an independent production was mounted in 2010.

Le Gâteau d’Anniversaire
Programme (PDF)
23rd September 2010, Southbank Centre, London
Mrs Lazarus
Staged revival
9th March 2012, RNCM Studio Theatre, Manchester
The Rosenhan Experiment
Staged revival - Programme / Libretto (PDF)
28th October 2013, John Thaw Theatre, Manchester
Emily
Programme (PDF)
4th-6th July 2013, Hippdrome Theatre, Todmorden
Madame X
Programme (PDF)
21st-27th August 2014, National Tour (6 performances)
Rest In Peace
Programme (PDF)
1st July 2015 - 4th March 2016, National Tour (10 performances)
Silent Jack
Programme (PDF)
1st July 2015 - 4th March 2016, National Tour (10 performances)
The Fire Of Olympus
or, On Sticking It To The Man
2019
(tour dates to be confirmed)

“A truly remarkable performance that is nearly unheard of within smaller opera companies and festivals”
Musically Notable

Emily (2013)

Emily (2013)

“A joy from start to finish”
Operissima

“A masterclass ... twice over. If Harold Pinter had ever written an opera, this would surely be it”
Bachtrack

“It brought the house down ... a tribute to the composer and the utterly convincing singers”
Seen And Heard

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