FIEC / CA 2019
15th Congress of the Fédération internationale des associations d'études classiques and the Classical Association annual conference 2019

Tim Benjamin and Radius Opera
Why Prometheus? Drawing inspiration from Classical subjects to create new opera

Sunday 7 July 2019, 5.30 pm

Logan Hall, Institute of Education

The event is free (no need to book in advance).


This session showcases the Classical Association’s promotion of our subject via grants to outreach projects.  A recent recipient is Radius Opera, for a new opera by Tim Benjamin, The Fire Of Olympus; or, On Sticking It To The Man, a radical re-imagining of Greek mythology which tells the story of Prometheus and Pandora in a thoroughly twenty-first-century context.  The musical language of the opera draws heavily on Handel’s Italian operas, but is sung in modern English, to a libretto by Anthony Peter. While unmistakeably a contemporary piece, the tuneful and accessible music will be immediately familiar to any lover of Handel, and the structure is built according to opera seria principles: recitative (moving the story forward through readily-followed dialogue) and aria (dwelling on important and emotional moments, and to provide a musical spotlight for the singers).

The CA has provided support particularly for the creation of the opera’s highly innovative ‘virtual chorus’, made up of the digitally combined voices of over 1,000 amateur singers drawn from choirs across the North and Midlands, who took part in workshops prior to the opera tour.

The live show will tour nationally to eight venues between 14th September and 9th November 2019, and a film version is to be premiered in Leeds on 16th November 2019.  The session at FIEC/CA provides an exclusive preview: composer Tim Benjamin will talk about the process of creating the opera, his choice of subject matter and treatment of the story, and extracts will be performed live by singers and instrumentalists from Radius Opera.  Expect drama, passion, politics, tragedy, and comedy – and a brilliant demonstration of classical myth’s continuing relevance to the modern world.

For further details of this and the company’s previous work, see the Radius Opera website: