Logo photo In the mid 1850s a true story of lies, deceit and death had the British public in its thrall; all eyes were on the most likely culprit, [Madeleine Hamilton Smith.]( The burning question on everyone's lips was – did she poison her clandestine lover, Emile L'Angelier, and was a seed sown by a night at the opera? It seems extraordinary that this oh-so-Victorian melodrama had previously not been retold on the operatic stage.

With much of Jonathan Butcher’s libretto drawn from Madeleine’s and Emile’s poems and love letters, and with thrilling atmospheric music by composer David Hackbridge Johnson , Surrey Opera has brought this gripping tragedy to life.

Following the triumphant World Première on 30th September 2021, Surrey Opera continues to celebrate its fifty glorious years with two concert performances of the revised score of this exciting new work.

The Cast
MadeleineKelly GlyptisMrs JenkinsJennifer Samuel
EmileThomas KellyChristinaEmma Jüngling
PapaGiles DaviesDr ThompsonGraham Stone
MamaDeborah HolbornDefence CounselStephen A Brown
BessieEleanor PenfoldProsecuting CounselGiles Davies
Amédée ThuauJon OpenshawClerk to tde CourtRoss Wilson
William MinnockDafydd AllenRabble Rouser, JudgeTim Baldwin

This is what the critics/opera buffs said about Madeleine/Surrey Opera:

Surrey Opera’s production was a triumph, ‘an impressive achievement,’ ‘this valiant Company punches above its weight artistically,’ ‘the composer has a genuine gift for ensembles and he knows how to build a climax,’ ‘Madeleine pans out for big set pieces and zooms in for intimate scenes, to vivid effect.’ ‘Hackbridge knows how to thrill.’ ‘Hackbridge Johnson’s dramatic pacing is on the mark throughout,’ ‘I was totally absorbed from the first note.’ ‘The playing and singing were on such a consistently high level.’ ‘the ball scene at the end, of Act 1 is a high point,’ ‘The Chorus were splendid, in the various roles, as Scottish country revellers and partisan crowds outside (or inside) the courtroom,’ ‘the Chorus must also have a mention, as they were excellent too, big and powerful when required and subtle; not always achieved by even the big houses.'

How to book:
CroydonSt Mary Magdalene Church, Canning Road, Croydon, CR0 6QD
PerformancesThursday 17th, Friday 18th February 2022 at 7pm
Tickets£15, students £12, all unreserved
Box office020 8657 7909
Booking online
Conductor & Director Jonathan Butcher
Designer Jill Wilson
Lighting Designer Rob Callender


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Photographer: Holly Burraway

Madeleine Kelly Glyptis
Emile Thomas Kelly
Papa Edwin Kaye
Mama Deborah Holborn
Bessie Eleanor Penfold
Amédée Thuau Jon Openshaw
William Minnock Dafydd Allen
Mrs Jenkins Jennifer Samuel
Christina Rosie Clifford
Dr Thompson Graham Stone
Counsel for the Defence Stephen Anthony Brown
Counsel for the Prosecution Giles Davies
Clerk to the Court Ross Wilson
Rabble Rouser Tim Baldwin
Mrs AndersonRosemary Ann McIntosh-Hayes
Sailor Toby Scholz