The Paradis Files: The Development of a New Opera

Catch Up: This event was live streamed on Tuesday 20 July at 7pm 

The Paradis Files: The Development of a New Opera

Monica Ferguson in Conversation with Jenny Sealey MBE, Errollyn Wallen CBE and Andrea Brown

This filmed event is BSL Interpreted

Monica Ferguson (CEO and Artistic Director of the Stables and Festival) catches up with some of the creative team behind the development of a new opera - The Paradis Files - which has taken shape over the past two years.

As part of its 50th Anniversary, The Stables commissioned Graeae Theatre Company to bring the untold, extraordinary story of Maria Theresia von Paradis to life. 

A highly celebrated composer, pianist and singer Maria Theresia von Paradis (Austria, 1759-1824) was a contemporary of Mozart and Salieri. Known as ‘The Blind Enchantress’, the story underlying her success is the life of a woman who was used as a pawn by her family to secure a pension - a young, disabled musician who was used as a source of ‘inspiration’ - subjected to an extraordinary and daily variety of treatments to ‘cure’ her blindness.

The Paradis Files, produced by Graeae from an original concept by Selina Mills, will be the first chamber opera to be originated and performed by D/deaf and disabled artists.

The production will be directed by Graeae’s Jenny Sealey MBE, with music by award-winning composer Errollyn Wallen CBE, a libretto by Nicola Werenowska with co-librettist Selina Mills, and Musical Director and Conductor, Andrea Brown.

The creative team have been working through the challenges of the past year. This conversation focuses on the composition and musical development, and how the casting and staging of the production has developed, particularly through the range of forms of expression used - from music and projected description to British Sign Language and physical performance.

The viewing audience submitted questions during the live online event.

Watch The Paradis Files: The Development of a New Opera here:

Graeae Theatre Company is a force for change in world-class theatre, boldly placing D/deaf and disabled actors centre stage and challenging preconceptions. More about Graeae:

You can also watch a short documentary that follows the initial creation of Graeae’s first chamber opera to be originated and performed by Deaf and disabled artists.

Watch the documentary Paradis Files - The making of an Opera here: