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Lost and Found is working to reinvigorate opera performance by staging less frequently performed operas in found spaces that speak to the resonance of the work.
In a short period, Lost & Found has produced bold and imaginative work to find its audience and help energise the creative sector in Perth with an array of successful sold out seasons garnering critical acclaim from local, state and national press. It has been hailed as “the nation’s most innovative opera company” (Opera Magazine) and “one of the few genuinely disruptive arts organisations in Australia” (The West Australian). The Department of Culture and the Arts in Western Australia (DCA) acknowledged Lost & Found as one of the most exciting companies to have emerged in recent years and praised its work in “reinvigorating opera by presenting an exciting program of high artistic merit to new audiences”. In a recent benchmarking for its production of Bizet’s opera ‘Don Procopio’, the Company scored more highly for Captivation, Presentation, Distinctiveness and Audience Enthusiasm against an average of other Australian and UK companies (source Culture Counts).
Critically acclaimed productions include:
• The Human Voice Poulenc/Cocteau (an opera charting the suicide of a woman as she talks on the phone to her lover, presented to 15 people at a time in a downtown Perth hotel room; production reprised at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Victoria and set for performances in Paris 2018);
“sustained power, searing interiority and superlative musicianship and stage craft”. The West Australian 2014
• The Emperor of Atlantis Ullmann/Kien (an opera written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp and performed on the elevated platform (bimah) used for the reading of the Torah at Perth Hebrew Congregation Synagogue);
“a terrific production of an underperformed work…Thomas de Mallet Burgess and Chris van Tuinen are doing great things in Perth at the moment, and Lost and Found Opera are truly offering something different for audiences…The Emperor of Atlantis is one of the most inventive productions you are likely to see this year.” Limelight 2014
• In the Shadow of Venus Heggie/Menotti/Hoiby (three short American operas performed at various locations in and around Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) including one opera projected live onto the large cultural centre piazza screen; Winner of the West Australian Arts Editor Award 2015);
“Perth’s innovative opera company Lost & Found again breaks new ground with a hilarious triple bill performed in as many sites.” The West Australian 2015
• Médée Milhaud (the classic Greek myth reflecting the last stand of the matriarchy staged at Fremantle Arts Centre in a reclaimed storeroom containing an original cell from the building’s former use as an asylum for women that also housed alcoholics, prostitutes and the infirm);
“Darius Milhaud’s 1938 opera Médée was given a gripping Australian premiere by Lost and Found Opera…This production shouldn’t be missed.” The West Australian 2015
“Innovation, intimacy and insight: this is what opera should be about…The production is a triumph of design and direction.” Limelight 2015
• Don Procopio Bizet (a comic opera in a new English translation by Thomas de Mallet Burgess and new orchestration by Chris van Tuinen about age and ageing performed in a suburban Italian club and wedding venue in partnership with an aged care facility).
"Lost and Found Opera’s wildly imaginative production dissolves the boundaries between performer and audience, reality and make-believe...Lost and Found Opera is one of the few genuinely disruptive — dare I say agile — arts organisations in Australia...This opening night performance was an absolute delight, the mix of garish costumes, physical comedy, engaging arias, duets, ensembles and choruses, audience interaction and Burgess’s witty English translation combining to make this Big Fat Italian Wedding a night to remember. In short, Lost and Found Opera have done it again." The West Australian 2016
• Trouble in Tahiti Bernstein (a site specific re-imagining of Leonard Bernstein's opera staged in a private house in the affluent suburb of City Beach).
“5 stars...a production with which, from the originality of its conception to the excellence of its execution, it is difficult to find fault.”The West Australian 2017
“This is the magic of Perth opera company Lost and Found: they present opera so physically and emotionally close to the audience that the work takes on an (often uncomfortable) personal resonance. ★★★★★” Limelight 2017