Tristram Kenton

Found and Lost

Reviewer's Rating

The declared objective of this production is to offer a sonic journey to reveal ‘the secret life of the hotel’. You may think this to be a cynical exercise by the hotel’s proprietors to promote their business.

Whether or not ‘Found & Lost” is a commercial ploy by the hotel, is irrelevant if young artists get the sponsorship they so desperately need and the public enjoys the fruits of that exercise.

This is the fourth year in which Corinthia Hotel, London supports emerging talent and the arts. This year’s artist in residence is the young composer Emily Hall. Her interesting composition together with a libretto, which is based on poems by Matthew Welton, create a light-hearted ‘opera installation’ rather than an opera. The 12 guests meander through the hotel’s corridors, lifts, rooms with music and chorus filling the space with a musical performance relating to the narrative and location. The experience was entertaining rather than inspiring.

The hotel’s lobby hosts the first leg of the performance. The chorus, together with Oliver Coats playing the cello opens the show with a song that lends itself to the title of the show but in reverse, ‘Lost & Found’, and is a prelude to narrative that unfolds. The songs largely centre on things found in the hotel and then lost – including love!

When we move from the lobby to the Massimo restaurant in the hotel, where Sophia Jernberg vocalist, and the chorus tell us to ‘beware of broken hearts’, we are suddenly distracted from the chorus singing to a quarrel standing by the bar. The tiff between the couple (Jesse Raiment and Tony Comley) was executed so well that I was certain we stumbled over a real live drama in the restaurant.

As I have already mentioned, this is not an inspiring evening, though the basic idea has interesting possibilities and would benefit from a more challenging narrative.