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In Development


Sophie by Helen Caddick is a 2 act chamber Opera inspired by the astonishing Swiss Artist/Dancer Sophie Taeuber and her relationship with French German Poet/Dadaist Hans Jean Arp. Taking letters written by Sophie herself to form the libretto, which give fascinating new insight into her life, alongside letters and poetry by Arp, we enter her world and experience the challenges she faced as a female artist in the shadow of her famous husband.

Artist, Dancer, Textile Designer, Sculptor, Architect and Editor of her own international Arts Magazine Plastique Taeuber was shockingly described as ‘housewife’ on her death certificate when she died prematurely from carbon monoxide poisoning in 1943. This opera seeks to right this wrong, to bring her story to greater public consciousness. Following 4 days of research and initial development which culminated in the sharing of semi-staged extracts at London’s Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2021 to coincide with the UK’s first major retrospective of Sophie Taeuber Arp at Tate Modern, plans are now in development to bring Sophie fully realised to the stage.

Sophie Opera

The writing, and first phase of research and development of Sophie has been generously supported by PRSFoundation and Arts Council England National Lottery funding.

Interview with Kamala Devam as choreographer for the new opera

Lucy Bradley director of Sophie

Chris Hopkins - Conductor on Sophie

Audience Response

To the sharing of extracts from Sophie at Tête à Tête 2021:

I watched the webcast of Sophie last night with such admiration and pleasure. .. amazing vocal performances as well as the musical score, really exceptional.:- Professor Brandon Taylor, University of Southampton / Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford

It was a triumph! I loved (the) music and as the uniting element of the singers, instrumental musicians, dancers, images of Sophie’s work and costumes, it was as if Sophie had been conjured in front of our eyes. - Shân Maclennan

I felt totally transported into another universe. The music coming from the instruments was exquisite. I loved the combination of live orchestra, opera singers and dancers bringing Sophie's world to life. - anon. audience member
It was a truly beautiful, mesmerising and intellectually stimulating show of art and I cannot wait to see the complete production – anon audience member


December 2021

In December 2021, Helen was interviewed by Yvonne Eiserling about her Opera, Sophie, as part of Female Future  - a podcast shining a light on 50 Swiss Artists, hosted by the Swiss Embassy, Tel Aviv. Alongside Walburga Krupp, Co-curator of the Sophie Taeuber-Arp retrospective shown at MOMA, New York and London's Tate Modern, Helen spoke of her thinking and approach for Sophie and it’s inspiration - the life and work of Sophie Taeuber-Arp and her relationship with Dadaist/Poet Jean Arp. 

August 2021

In August 2021, semi staged extracts from Caddick's new Opera, Sophie, were shared at London's Tête à Tête Opera Festival - a culmination of extended Research and Development. Plans are in the pipeline to bring the fully realised work to the stage.

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