The Paradis Files

Commissioned by The Stables for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival
A Graeae Theatre Company production in partnership with BBC Concert Orchestra and Curve Theatre
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  • Read the reviews

  • Sardines Magazine "The Paradis Files is directed by Jenny Sealey, who knows, really knows, how to create stunning theatre. This piece is stonkingly good: intelligent, funny, moving, beautifully sung and skilfully staged." Read more...
  • To Do List London "A triumph...championing accessible opera for all." Read more...
  • The Independent "A joyfully inclusive show makes you rethink who opera is for." Read more...
  • Everything Theatre "Delightful, exciting work, made nuanced and satisfying by the thoughtfulness with which it has been created. It's opera for everyone and sends a clear message that we are all welcome to participate in world-class performance: and this is how it's done." Read more...
  • The Observer "Bethan Langford, outstanding in the central role...with onstage signing as part of the action, and wittily designed surtitles, The Paradis Files ensures that a new audience has a chance to experience opera. The response at the Queen Elizabeth Hall was cheerful and euphoric." Read more...

An extraordinary blind musician. A family hell-bent on a cure.

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.

A newly commissioned chamber opera, with music by Errollyn Wallen; Musical Director and Conductor, Andrea Brown and directed by Jenny Sealey. This opera will be performed by members of the BBC Concert Orchestra and together they will bring this extraordinary woman out of the shadows to reclaim her place in the spotlight of music history.

All performances will creatively integrate BSL, captioning and audio description.

Audio Flyer by Selina Mills

BSL Flyer by Jenny Sealey

Trigger warnings:

The Paradis Files contains references to some distressing topics, including:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Baby loss
  • Bereavement
  • Ableism
  • Graphic depictions of 18th century ‘cures’ for blindness, including compression of the optic nerve, bleeding with pins and electric shock

Supported by Arts Council England, The Vision Foundation, The Cockayne Foundation. Garfield Weston Foundation, MK Community Foundation and UNESCO Club Vienna. Thanks also go to the many people that donated to make this project happen.



Watch a short documentary about the making of The Paradis Files below

Supported by

Logos for Arts Council England, Vision Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Milton Keynes Community Foundation. Cockayne, UNESCO Club Vienna & Sustainable Development Goals.


Image gallery

  • Rehearsal pictures
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Image gallery

  • Hilde, The Baroness von Paradis
    Maureen Brathwaite
  • Joseph, The Baron von Paradis / A Doctor / Baritone Gossip
    Omar Ebrahim
  • A Doctor / Alto Gossip
    Andee-Louise Hypolite
  • Maria Theresia von Paradis
    Bethan Langford
  • Gerda, The Maid / Soprano Gossip
    Ella Taylor
  • Salieri / A Doctor / Tenor Gossip
    Ben Thapa
  • Performance Interpreter
    Chandu Gopalakrishnan
  • Performance Interpreter
    Max Marchewicz
  • Music — Errollyn Wallen
  • Musical Director and Conductor — Andrea Brown
  • Director — Jenny Sealey
  • Librettist — Nicola Werenowska
  • Co-Librettist and Original Idea — Selina Mills
  • Designer — Bernadette Roberts
  • Lighting Designer — Emma Chapman
  • Video Designer — Ben Glover
  • Assistant Director — Sonny Nwachukwu
  • Casting Director — Sarah Playfair
  • Dramaturg — Bill Bankes-Jones
Tour dates
Related events
  • A graphic showing a woman in renaissance costume, against a teal background. Text next to her reads The Paradis Files Productions

    The Paradis Files

    A groundbreaking new chamber opera by Errollyn Wallen, celebrating the life of forgotten blind composer & performer Maria Theresia von Paradis. Touring the UK this Spring!

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