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Production Info

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“I have fallen in love several times throughout the last few hours... I'm not sure I will ever get over this production, nor do I want to. A few hours of performance, but a whole many more of wonder”

More MADAME X reviews

This information is intended for theatres considering receiving our production of MADAME X.


MADAME X is a professionally produced opera, featuring 9 singers and an orchestra of 7 (plus conductor). The acclaimed world premiere production ran for 7 shows on tour in London and the North-West, supported by Arts Council England and other funders, and the show is produced by the experienced West Yorkshire company Radius.

As a relatively small-scale and intimate production, we believe that MADAME X is best-suited to theatres seating up to around 500 and/or those in which the audience is seated close to the performance space. The production is very flexible: we have performed the piece both in end-on (with and without proscenium) and thrust formats.


Masetto and Zerlina — a young emigré couple — are impoverished, cold, and starving. Masetto, a brilliant portrait artist, is being ripped off by his unscrupulous agent, and circling art collectors will not take “no” for an answer.

Shivering in a shabby loft, struggling to make ends meet, and exploited by the wealthy and powerful collectors Lady Brannoch and Mr Wilmore, Masetto lives for his art, protected only by his muse and love, Zerlina. Their plight becomes increasingly perilous, desperate, and deadly, until at last: revenge.

MADAME X is a new opera by Tim Benjamin, inspired by the Italian operas of Handel and Jacobean revenge drama. This dark, passionate and obsessive tale is peppered with black humour and explores the potent combination of money and power in the world of art.

Photos and video

Production photos of MADAME X are available here (several are shown on this page), and a video is available here (requires password: please contact us for temporary access)


In addition to this website, we have a mailing list, a Facebook page, and a primary Twitter account linked to two secondary accounts which are role-plays of the two main characters in the opera.

We also have a sophisticated marketing package including text and graphics, and a good range of interested press contacts.

We have created two trailers, here and here, and a blog.

Finally we have great-looking posters and flyers ready to print (with the possibility of adding venue-specific logos / text).

Previous reviews

Exquisite... inherently melancholy and ultimately soul-bearing, Madame X poses infinitely more questions than it answers

The majority of press reviews of past performances have been very favourable, and the production has been featured in national press as well as major online websites and in local press.

A summary of all known press is available here.

We have also conducted a detailed feedback exercise with past audiences, and we are able to share the results on request. The free-text mini reviews submitted by audience members are available to read here. Overall, the audience reaction has been extremely positive and enthusiastic, and particularly strong among those new to opera.

How would you rate the performance overall? — 93% stated either "Excellent" (50%) or "Very good" (43%)


The opera lasts for around 2 hours 10 minutes (1h 50m plus interval, for which 20 minutes is required to reset the stage).

  • Act 1: 60 minutes
  • Acts 2+3: 50 minutes.

There is a 20 minute interval after Act 1.

Company and performers

Director: Tim Benjamin
Music Director: Antony Brannick
Designer: Lara Booth

MADAME X is performed by some of the UK's finest new opera singers and accompanied by a superb ensemble of 7 musicians (string quartet, clarinet, flute, harpsichord/chamber organ, plus conductor). A programme from the world premiere production (a similar cast will appear in future productions) is available here.

Previous performances

The dates and locations of the previous performances of MADAME X were:

  • Thursday 21st August 2014
    (Hippodrome, TODMORDEN: World Premiere)
  • Friday 22nd August 2014
    (Square Chapel, HALIFAX
  • Saturday 23rd August 2014
    (Square Chapel, HALIFAX
  • Monday 25th August 2014
    (Arcola Theatre, LONDON: London Premiere)
  • Tuesday 26th August 2014
    (Arcola Theatre, LONDON)
  • Wednesday 27th August 2014
    (Arcola Theatre, LONDON
  • Thursday 25th September 2014
    (RNCM Opera Theatre, MANCHESTER)


MADAME X requires two (fixed) bars at the back of the playing area, one approximately 500mm downstage of the other. A full-width black curtain should hang immediately behind the rearmost bar. The items suspended from these bars are not heavy, do not hang over performers, and are pre-rigged, requiring only span-sets or similar.

The playing area is roughly 6m by 6m; this is the only area requiring light. Scale drawings are available.

Wings are needed both left and right, with sufficient space for off-stage performance and storage of set pieces stage right.

Lighting is flexible and relatively straightforward (c.30 cues). A plan can be supplied.

Crew: we provide (at a minimum) a stage manager and a lighting technician.

Get-in: the set for MADAME X is relatively straightforward and get-in (including lighting) can be completed in around 4 hours. Parking / unloading space is required for one large Transit van.

Get-out can be completed in around an hour.