© Jan Oosterhuis, CC BY-SA 3.0

Benjamin Haemhouts conductor


Every two years, EUROPALIA develops a programme focusing on one country or theme. In 2021, the biennale centres on an invention that changed the world: the train.

From 14 October 2021 until 15 May 2022, EUROPALIA TRAINS & TRACKS is presenting a programme full of visual arts, performing arts, film, music, literature and debates. It will explore trains from four perspectives: their impact on society, sustainability, time and movement.

The theme prompted Muziektheater Transparant and Casco Phil to use the station – a crossing point and place of contact for many different people – as the setting for an opera. Listen to how an opera scene is composed. Discover how the librettist manages to distill the messages of random passers-by into a text, originating from a text message or maybe a letter. Join the rehearsal. Rush hour was never so inspiring!

Passers-by become spectators, travellers turn into participants. This year, EUROPALIA is dedicated to trains, meaning the tracks that literally connect the continent. Together with Muziektheater Transparant, Casco Phil developed a rich opera experience full of connections. A composer and a librettist spend a week together in a glass box in stations in Antwerp, Brussels, London St. Pancras and in Rotterdam. Every day they compose a short, modern opera, inspired by passers-by and their stories, which they perform during rush hour. The final composition is turned into a performance and sound installation using live musicians and singers, and is on show for a week, to be enjoyed both by audiences who visit it on purpose as well as people who discover it by accident.

Lost & Found:

An idea of Casco Phil. A production of EUROPALIA, Casco Phil and Muziektheater Transparant in the context of EUROPALIA TRAINS & TRACKS (2021).
Coproduction O. Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre.

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