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ROH celebrates IWD with Lost and Found

Published: 18 February 2022
Reporter: Vera Liber

St Pancras International Roof and Sir John Betjeman statue Credit: Courtesy of Royal Opera House

Lost and Found is a collection of seven micro-operas from the Royal Opera inspired by tales of travelling and train connections created by female composer and librettist teams and performed live at St. Pancras Station on Tuesday 8 March 2022 between 11AM and 4PM to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022.

The short opera scenes were built on anecdotes submitted to the Royal Opera House by members of the public, exploring themes of time, motion, meetings and farewells.

At the Eurostar terminal, Georgia Barnes and Olivia Bell’s Everything you carry and Rose Hall and Katie Colombus’s It’s The Little Things, will provide musical postcards of thought and emotion for those waiting at the arrival gate, while travellers at the 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.

‘The Meeting Place’ statue will be the backdrop for four works centred around time and travel. Sarah Lianne Lewis and Sophia Chapadjiev’s The Parting Place tells the tale of an elusive voyeur, whilst 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.

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 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 première in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre this summer directed by 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.

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.