Refuge in Harmony welcomes 40 newly arrived unaccompanied minors from around the world to Opera Holland Park, inviting them to settle into their new community through opera.
In partnership with Red Cross, the group is creating their own music performance piece, with the help of Composer Laura Bowler and Director Ruth Mariner.
Refuge in Harmony is a platform for these young people to re-establish their identities and gain confidence in their voice. Together we are exploring the instinctive language of music and drama and learning new skills in performance and design.
Come and join us for the grand finale on the 22 July, when the young creatives will perform their production on stage at Opera Holland Park, accompanied by singers and a full live orchestra at the Open Day. Friends, opera patrons and members of the community attending the Open Day are invited to enjoy a new performance, challenge any preconceptions and embrace the group as new citizens.
Most of the young people were completely new to opera, and some had never even heard of it. But they are fast learners, and despite their struggles with profound isolation and disorientation, they have embraced the experience and are growing from it. Refuge in Harmony gives them a valuable outlet for their creative energies: the stories and themes running through the performance are all based on their personal experiences.
Ember Hibbert, London Young Refugee Service Manager, British Red Cross
For newly arrived unaccompanied minors, cultural spaces can feel out of reach and inaccessible. Giving this group time to create, space to reflect, security to interact and skills in the opera, we are not only welcoming this group to the theatre in Refuge in Harmony, but embracing them as a part of our Opera Holland Park family. There has never been a more important time to bring people from all backgrounds together, and to welcome them to their new community as equals.
Lucy Curtis, Inspire Coordinator, Opera Holland Park