London: Peckham Asylum, where I learn what a Baroque Opera is

Asylum Chapel in Caroline Gdns

Asylum Chapel in Caroline Gardens

This weekend I went to see pop-up opera performed at the Asylum Chapel in Peckham. These people travel around England performing opera at unusual venues, making the venue part of the performance.

Maybe not one for the opera purists but I really enjoyed it and I love how they adapted the subtitles to make it into a modern social media story.

The opera was Mozart’s The Abduction, which tells the story of two men rescuing their girlfriends from a Turkish harem.

Asylum Chapel itself is very interesting. They hold various art-related activities throughout the year, and you can also hire it as a venue should you be planning a wedding or funeral.

During the interval, and yes it does look a bit like an AA meeting

During the interval, and yes it does look a bit like an AA meeting at this point.

I walk past this place a lot and always assumed it had been a lunatic asylum back in its day (being as it’s called Asylum chapel and is situated on Asylum road). Actually it was originally built for pub landlords to retire (yes seriously); it was basically an old folks home for the pub trade in the days before the welfare state.

It is an amazing building.


I also like the fact that it is literally four minutes walk from my front door (really I’m not giving anything away here, as this is an incredibly population-dense area).


Sarah’s useless fact for today: thanks to the presence of some actual opera enthusiasts (real opera I suspect) I now know what a Baroque opera is (it was written between 1600-1750). This is information I intend to casually drop into conversation throughout the week.

Categories: London

Tagged as: , , ,

Leave a Reply