Opera premieres on Caledonian Sleeper service

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An opera had its world premiere on a sleeper train service between Aberdeen and London.

Belongings, inspired by items of luggage carried by railway passengers, was performed for the first time on Monday night.

The Opera Festival on the sleeper service between Aberdeen and London. Picture: Handout

The Opera Festival on the sleeper service between Aberdeen and London. Picture: Handout

It is the first time an opera has been staged on board a Caledonian Sleeper service.

The event came as part of a collaboration between soundfestival, based in the north-east of Scotland, and London’s Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival.

Bill Bankes-Jones, director of Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival, said: “Our performances on the sleeper was designed to welcome audiences from two of the countries’ most creative cities to sample new music and works.”

The piece was performed in the lounge car of the train by cellist Zosia Jagodzinska and tenor Robert Lewis. Music is by Samual Bordoli and libretto by Bankes-Jones.

Robert Lewis and Zosia Jagodzinska before performing Belongings, an opera staged by Scotland's soundfestival. Picture: Belongings/PA Wire

Robert Lewis and Zosia Jagodzinska before performing Belongings, an opera staged by Scotland's soundfestival. Picture: Belongings/PA Wire

It was staged as part of Tete a Tete’s 10th anniversary festival, in partnership with soundfestival.

Fiona Robertson, director of soundfestival, added: “We were delighted to be able to take this initiative forward with special performances on the sleeper.

“We hope hearing this opera will encourage people to come and enjoy more performances both at Tete a Tete and soundfestival.”

There will be another chance to experience the opera on the sleeper over the night of November 9 and 10.

The piece will also be performed as a pop-up work at King’s Cross station throughout the Tete a Tete festival, which runs until August 13, and in Deeside at soundfestival later in the year.