Today, International Women’s Day 2022, thousands of shoppers, commuters and visitors to St. Pancras International enjoyed Lost and Found – a series of mini-operas commissioned by the Royal Opera House, based on submissions public and created by all the teams of composers and librettists.
Performed throughout IWD, the operas were presented in collaboration with Casco Phil, Europalia and Curated Place, raising the profile of creative women and providing visitors to London’s iconic destination with miniature experiences of the art form surprising.
Pop-up performances that took place on the resort’s large terrace and in the main lobby explored themes of time, movement, reunions and farewells. The Royal Opera House commissioned the performances following an open call from its Jette Parker Young Artists (JPYA) scheme.
JPYA Producer Angelique MacDonald said:
“It was a privilege to read the personal stories that were shared with us for this project and to see them inspire seven new works in different styles and approaches. Opera is a naturally human art form and it is extremely exciting to be able to perform such relevant work at St Pancras International.
Ariadne, [a regular commuter travelling from Paris to Edinburgh]noted:
“I appreciated that it was all a surprise – because I just got off a train and saw a bunch of people, and I didn’t know what to expect. Was it just piano or anything else? Then I waited and this beautiful act of singing and storytelling happened right in the middle of the station. Ariane asked what it was for and learned that it was a celebration by the Royal Opera House for International Women’s Day.
Operas included All You Wear by Georgia Barnes and Olivia Bell, and It’s The Little Things by Rose Hall and Katie Colombus at the Eurostar Terminal; Laura Reid and Oge Nwosu’s Detritus at National Rail Service departure boards; and The Parting Place by Sarah Lianne Lewis and Sophia Chapadjiev, I just wanna be by Joanna Taylor and Kerry Priest (at Center Parcs), The Hardest Journey by Anna Braithwaite and Kerry Priest, and Mini Break by Victoria Bernath and Teresa Howard under the iconic station statue ‘The Meeting Place.’
The singers included young artists Jette Parker from the Royal Opera House, April Koyejo-Audiger, Thando Mjandana, Chuma Sijeqa, Blaise Malaba and Egor Zhuravskii, joined by Siân Dicker, Milly Forrest, Sam Marston, Zahid Siddiqui and Jamie Woollard. They were accompanied by musicians from the Belgian chamber ensemble Casco Phil, whose artistic director Benjamin Haemhouts designed the project himself.
Sally and Steven, travelers from Albuquerque, New Mexico, also said:
“We heard about it this morning on television. We were on the bus and decided to jump in to see the opera here at St Pancras International!
Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1, said: “In partnership with the Royal Opera House, we are delighted to have commemorated an important day in such a unique way. As a destination connected to music and the arts, we are continually looking for ways to support the industry, as well as ways to put a smile on our visitors’ faces as they shop, explore, meet friends or simply travel through the station. We hope our visitors enjoyed recognizing their own travel experiences through these wonderfully curated performances.
More information on the Royal Opera House website.