|Celebrate IWD 2022 with Lost and Found – a collection of micro-operas performed live at St. Pancras International Station
Seven mini operas inspired by tales of travelling and train connections
All created by female composer and librettist teams
Live, first-class performances by 11 singers throughout the day at St. Pancras International Station
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, the Royal Opera present Lost and Found: a series of brand-new, train-themed, micro-operas created by women composer and librettist teams. On Tuesday 8 March 2022, between 11am and 4pm, St. Pancras International will become a stage for the day, giving commuters the chance to enjoy stories and songs based on submissions from the public. That day, commuters will experience seven newly commissioned micro-operas – short opera scenes, built on anecdotes submitted to the Royal Opera House by members of the public, exploring themes of time, motion, meetings and farewells. The composer and librettist duos were selected following an open call from the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme (JPYA). At the Eurostar terminal, passengers will be serenaded by two works that explore and reflect on shared experiences, and moments of magic found in the mundanity of everyday commuting. Georgia Barnes and Olivia Bell’s Everything you carry, and Rose Hall and Katie Colombus’ It’s The Little Things, will provide musical postcards of thought and emotion for those waiting at the arrival gate. Travelers at the National Rail Service departure boards will hear Laura Reid and Oge Nwosu’s poetic song Detritus – told through the eyes of a cleaner, who unites people with their lost items. St. Pancras International’s iconic statue ‘The Meeting Place’ will be the backdrop for four works centered around time and travel. Sarah Lianne Lewis and Sophia Chapadjiev’s The Parting Place tells the tale of an elusive voyeur, whilst the fast-paced I just wanna be (in Center Parcs) by Joanna Taylor and Kerry Priest explores journeys beyond the everyday. Hidden disabilities are highlighted in Anna Braithwaite and Kerry Priest’s The Hardest Journey, whilst comic opera Mini Break by Victoria Bernarth and Teresa Howard spotlights the panic of lost passports and the inevitable bickering that follows. Lost and Found music directors Yshani Perinpanayagam and Ellie Slorach are alumni of JPYA Women Conductors courses, and director Diane Page and associate director Joseph Hancock participated in a JPYAP training programme before and during lockdown for theatre directors looking to transfer to opera. Some of the writing teams have been mentored by award-winning composer Laura Bowler, whose new work The Blue Woman will premiere in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre this summer, directed by critically acclaimed theatre and opera director Katie Mitchell. Singers include the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists April Koyejo-Audiger, Thando Mjandana, Chuma Sijeqa, Blaise Malaba and Egor Zhuravskii, here joined by Siân Dicker, Milly Forrest, Njabulo Madlala, Sam Marston, Zahid Siddiqui and Jamie Woollard. Accompanying them are players from Belgium chamber ensemble Casco Phil, whose Artistic Director Benjamin Haemhouts devised the project itself. Lost and Found is part of the Europalia Arts Festival, reaching European railway stations including Antwerp Central Station, Brussels Central Station, and, in May 2022, Rotterdam Central Station. The performances in St. Pancras International are presented in collaboration with site-performance specialists Curated Place, offering London’s commuters and long-haul travelers the chance to pause, reflect and enjoy a moment of art and connection in an unlikely place.
Angelique MacDonald, Producer for the Jette Parker Young Artists as ROH, said: ‘It has been a privilege to read the personal stories that were shared with us for this project, and watch them inspire seven new works in different styles and approaches. Opera is an innately human artform and it’s hugely exciting to be able to perform such relatable work with Casco Phil at St. Pancras International.’
Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1, said: ‘We are so excited for St. Pancras International to be the backdrop for the latest Lost and Found performances, straight off the Eurostar. There will no doubt be many interesting and entertaining stories from travellers who pass through train stations, and we can’t wait to see them brought to life through the magic and beauty of opera. The collection of performances adds to our host of arts and cultural experiences on offer at the station throughout the year and we’re thrilled to be working with The Royal Opera House to delight visitors during their journeys to and from the station on International Women’s Day.’