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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.

Listen to Giles Davies’ interview about the production:

Watch an INTERVIEW of Jonathan Butcher and David Hackbridge Johnson by Adam Turner.

Kelly Glyptis, who sang the title role in Madeleine, was the Grand Prix Winner of the 2021 Musical International Grand Prix – opera category.

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.’

Conductor & Director Jonathan Butcher
Designer Jill Wilson
Lighting Designer Rob Callender
How to book:
The Harlequin Theatre, RedhillWarwick Quadrant, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1NN
PerformancesThu 30th September and Sat 2nd October 2021 at 7pm
Matinée Sat 2nd October at 2pm
CroydonSt Mary Magdalene Church, Canning Road, Croydon, CR0 6QD
PerformancesThursday 17th, Friday 18th February 2022 at 7pm


Photographer: Holly Burraway

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