An opera on a cruelly topical subject, the fate of young refugees in 1940 and today, offering a timeless scenic and musical meditation on displacement and violence, but also hope and humanity.
‘The air is filled with sound and flame...’ The role of Glyndebourne in welcoming refugees from the London Blitz during World War II was the inspiration for this opera featuring a cast of children and teens. Together, librettist Laura Attridge and composer Lewis Murphy drew a parallel between the situation in 1940 and that of today’s migrants crossing the Mediterranean (and sometimes losing their lives) and pushing on to Calais since 2016: two historical and human tragedies, felt especially deeply by youth brutally thrust into the unknown and severed from their linguistic and cultural reference points.
While far from a desperate story, thanks to the humanism and solidarity it celebrates, Belongings gives voice to the suffering of the innocent. As quoted in the score from a Bach oratorio, Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld der Welt: the lamb that appears, bearing the sins of the world.