Can an evening at the opera inspire you to become reconnected with yourself and the world around you?
The Barbican, the largest performing arts center in Europe, has announced a unique production inspired by the practice of mindful meditation. Titled "Lost in Thought," and directed by Frederic Wake-Walker, the four-hour event will feature vegan food, Buddhism-inspired music and moments of quiet reflection.
"Over the course of four hours [audiences will be taken] on an inner journey of mindfulness with periods of meditation, rest, communal eating and a gentle yoga session," a Barbican spokesperson said.
In fact, besides a portion of the evening involving a "communal performance," the audience is expected to remain completely silent during the production. Mezzo-soprano Lore Lixenberg and seven musicians will perform music by composer Rolf Hind said to explore "the points of contact between sound and silence and music and mediation." And according to at least one participant during a workshop preview — it completely works.
Mezzo-soprano Lore Lixenberg performing during a workshop for "Lost in Thought." (Photo: Carys Lavin/Mahogany)
"Rolf’s choice of creative and unusual instrumentation and playing techniques encourage a state of mental relaxation and aids psychological self-focus and mindfulness in its participants," Fiona Craib, who attended a session at the Mahogany Opera Group, writes. "Throughout the four hour long workshop, I was surprised to find myself falling into these states and feeling entirely in control of my thoughts. Those who lead the meditation elements of the piece do so in such a way that you are completely involved - even with little to no prior knowledge of the methods."
Interested in taking on this mindful journey? "Lost in Thought" will run at the London Symphony Orchestra's St. Luke Music Education Centre on Sept. 25-27.
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