[EUROPALIA TRAINS & TRACKS: Lost & Found in Antwerp and Brussels]

Annelies Van Parys composition

Benjamin Haemhouts conductor

Gaea Schoeters libretto


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.

Are you at the station? Leave your story in the yellow letterbox in the departure hall or via info@transparant.be, and discover it in our mini operas!

Created with the support of the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and the SNCB

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