Perth’s newest opera company, Lost & Found, breathes new life into a lost French tragedy.

This May, Perth’s newest opera company Lost & Found will stage the Australian premiere of the 1930s opera Médéeat Fremantle Arts Centre, a 19th Century building originally built as a lunatic asylum.

Darius Milhaud’s 1938 opera explores the Ancient Greek story of Medea who, faced with her husband’s infidelity, exacts a horrifying revenge on his new bride and in a chilling musical and dramatic climax, murders her two children.

Lost & Found are an opera company with a mission to unearth lost operas and present them in spaces not normally used for performance. As with their critically acclaimed production of Ullman’s  The Emperor of Atlantis, written in a Nazi concentration camp and staged by Lost & Found in a Perth synagogue, there is a strong resonance between the story of  Médée and the chosen venue.

Fremantle Arts Centre’s history as a lunatic asylum from the mid-1800s, then as a women’s home at the turn of the century until World War II, offer the opera an immediacy and legitimacy. The building’s marked history is almost palpable in the intimate setting.  Set in a room containing one of the asylum’s original cells,...