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Contemporary Opera

Commission for York Theater Royals Literature Festival, in association with York St John University. 

Performed at York Theatre Royal and East Riding Theatre.  

MEDEA MARIA was A deeply moving and powerful performance of Euripides’ Medea, retold through the lens of Maria Callas, one of the last great divas of opera.


This contemporary opera was designed and directed by Alexander Kaniewski. Through bring together the glamour, passion, and romance of the opera with minimalist movement, gesture and design, Medea told the story of two women scorned by love.


The opera paralleled and contrasted the life of the great opera singer and that of the character Medea who Callas played many times in her career. A tale of betrayal, heartbreak and the fury of a woman who would become her own legend.


The harrowing tale of Medea unfolded before you in perpetual motion through the image of the moving human form within time and space. The opera’s fresh and original score was composed by Helen Madden and blends the traditional structure and dramatic tones of opera with that of repetitive minimalistic music, to create an environment that transports the viewer to a world which pauses between reality and fiction.


This theatre performance with live musical ensemble captured the essence of the character that is La Callas, one of the most glamorous and powerfully sophisticated women of the 20th century, in one of her iconic and most empathetic roles, as Medea.


‘The difference between the ancient Greeks and me, is I don’t cry on tragedies. I cope with them!’

Maria Callas

Reviews and Press 

The Press York

Medea and Callas's stories of passion and tragedy overlap in Alexander Kaniewski's new play.

Plays To See 

MEDEA MARIA:  Daniel Welton  ***

The Reviews Hub 

Medea Maria – Theatre Royal, York: Ron Simpson ***


Helen Madden Composer, Alexander Kaniewski Designer Director 

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