Organised and run by The Librettist Network

How do we create opera from our own experience? What does a creative process look like where fragments, topics and themes are taken from real life and transformed into operatic concepts?

12:40 was a landmark project from the National Opera Studio and Second Movement, where each singer in the 2017/18 studio worked with a librettist, composer and répétiteur to create an aria based on their own life.

The results were fascinating and diverse. Areas of exploration included the Indonesian National Awakening, the infulence of a supportive grandmother on a young gay man, the first woman to head the International Space Agency, an exploration of ability, disability and 'different abilities' through the metaphor of whale evolution, and many more. They were brought together into one production at London's Hoxton Hall in June 2018, in association with the Librettist Network.

This evening will explore the creation of these unique collaborations with the artists who made them. What experience or issue sparked the creative process? How did singers connect with librettist, composer and répétiteur? How was this material transformed into music, and a concept for an opera? What is it like to inhabit a role based on one’s own life? How did many of these operas transform beyond recognition from real-life concepts into flights of imagination and fantasy?

Pannelists include David Sulkin OBE, Director of Artist Development at The National Opera Studio, Abigail Toland, Producer, Second Movement, and a selection of the 12:40 creatives and collaborators.

We will explore all these questions and more, with opportunity to meet other collaborators over wine. Doors open 6.30pm, and discussions will start at 7.00pm, followed by a Q&A.