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Graeae first chamber opera

Published: 11 March 2022
Reporter: Vera Liber

The Paradis Files

Leading UK disabled-led theatre company Graeae's first ever chamber opera is the world première of Errollyn Wallen’s The Paradis Files directed by Graeae Artistic Director Jenny Sealey with musical direction by Andrea Brown.

In the glittering salons of 18th-century Vienna, Maria Theresia von Paradis is a star. Pianist, composer, touring musician, this pupil of Salieri and friend (and alleged lover) of Mozart has captivated Europe with her own sensational talent. They call her The Blind Enchantress.

Yet behind this dazzling success story there are darker forces at work. Some of those closest to Maria-Theresia are looking to profit from her blindness. Others are looking to ‘cure’ her—whatever it takes.

The production features Maureen Brathwaite (Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, Welsh National Opera, ENO) as Hilde, Baroness von Paradis, Omar Ebrahim (RSC, Glyndebourne) as Baron von Paradis / a doctor / baritone gossip, Andee-Louise Hypolite (Das Rheingold – Gafa Arts Collective) as Dr Janice / alto gossip, Bethan Langford (HMS Pinafore – ENO, The Lost Thing – Royal Opera House) as Maria Theresia von Paradis, Ella Taylor (The Cunning Little Vixen – English National Opera, Paris and Helen – Bampton Classical Opera) as Gerda The Maid / soprano gossip and Ben Thapa (Idomeneo – Buxton International Festival, Tristan Und Isolde – Longborough Festival Opera) as Salieri / Dr Anton / tenor gossip.

The tour starts with previews at Leicester’s Curve on 8 April and receives its London première at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on April 13 & 14 before embarking on a nationwide tour starting with The Stables on April 20 & 21.