The Corley Conspiracy

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The Corley Conspiracy is an opera by Tim Benjamin to a libretto by Sean Starke, who also directed. The work premiered on 19 September 2007 in the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre in London; the orchestral parts were played by the ensemble Radius.[1] The opera was commissioned by the London Design Festival 2007.


Role Premiere cast: 21 September 2007[2]
Conductor: John Traill
Mike Corley Paul Tosio
Grace Watson Angela Myers
Alex Jones Jonatha Webb
Jill Scott Hannah Grainger-Clemson
James Lewis Alan Bailey
Voice of the Computer Elise Emmanuelle
Email Protected Arne Muus
Orchestra Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin)
Oliver Coates (cello)
Jennifer George (flute)
Charys Green (clarinet)
Huw Morgan (trumpet)
Tyler Vahldick (trombone)
Jocelyn Lightfoot (horn)
John Reid (piano)
Adrian Spillett (percussion)
Director Sean Starke
Stage manager Arne Muus

The performance of the work lasts for about 75 minutes.


I Have The British Gone Mad? Prologue
II BBC's Hidden Shame Concerto Prelude (Adagio)
Reprise (Adagio)
III Email Protected Concerto Recitative
IV Paranoia Concerto Finale
V Sulpiride 200mgs Variations No. 1 Passacaglia
No. 2 Chaconne
VI Censorship Variations no. 3 on an Interval
No. 4 on a Chord
No. 5 on a note
VII The Continuing Silence Epilogue

Unusually for an opera, all the vocal parts are spoken, but unlike a play, the music is continuous and relates strongly to the text.


Based on a true story that unfolded on Usenet bulletin boards, this new opera is a gripping portrayal of a paranoid mind that raises unsettling questions about a society under surveillance.

— from the programme notes

The text of the work is based on Mike Corley's experiences and theories, as shown in his Usenet posts and on his website.[3]

Mike Corley is an information technology specialist residing in the United Kingdom. He has a long history of posting Usenet messages detailing how MI5 has allegedly bugged his home, watched him via his television and is sending people to follow him around and harass him. These messages are often crossposted to many different newsgroups. His claims of being persecuted by MI5 (the Subject: line of his posts) have led to claims that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.[4][5] He has claimed in his posts that television personalities are often talking about him in code and are part of the MI5 conspiracy.[6][7] He has been banned from posting through Google for his abuse of Usenet[8] and has been similarly barred from most Internet service providers in England,[9] an assertion which Corley contested in August 2012.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Corley Conspiracy (opera)
  2. ^ Bannit, Jemima (September 2007). "The Corley Conspiracy – The Programme" (PDF). Radius Music. Retrieved 3 April 2008.  with detailed background information
  3. ^ Corley, Mike. "Persecuted by the Security Service (Mike Corley's web page)". Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Iain L M Hotchkies (5 May 1996). "Corley FAQ (v0.1)". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Mike Corley – Conspiracy Theorist". BBC h2g2. 21 March 2002. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  6. ^ (Mike Corley) (17 November 2007). "MI5 Persecution: Ravenscourt Park 20/3/99 (4522)".,,sfnet.urheilu.moottoriurheilu,,3do.bad-attitude Check |newsgroup= value (help). Usenet: 
  7. ^ (Mike Corley) (25 August 2007). "MI5 Persecution: Neil Fox (Nov/1998) (6190)". Newsgroupit.salute.tumori,alt.biology,,, Check |newsgroup= value (help). Usenet: 
  8. ^ "Google Groups – Profile (". This account has been banned because it violated the Google Groups Terms Of Use. 
  9. ^ "A suspicious radio/printer for Mike Corley" by Regine (25 February 2008)
  10. ^ (25 August 2012). "Amazing Amazon. Kindle's Earnings". Newsgroupuk.misc. Usenet: 

External links[edit]