Generously supported by the Nicholas John Trust
Directed by Alisdair Kitchen and Produced by David Sulkin.
In partnership with Second Movement, with additional assistance from the Librettist Network

In 2018 the National Opera Studio commissioned 12:40; 12 new arias by 12 composers and 12 librettists for 12 singers, to mark its 40th anniversary year. Two years later, a follow up project, 12:42, was conceived, but development came to a halt due to the Coronavirus and planned performances of the new works were cancelled. Reacting swiftly and determined not to abandon the project, 12:42 turned digital.

The National Opera Studio is delighted to present 12:42, a unique film documenting the collaborative creative process of producing brand new operas under coronavirus lockdown conditions.

Produced almost entirely in quarantine, the documentary follows the ambitious journey of 42 creative people – comprising the National Opera Studio’s Young Artist singers and répétiteurs, in close collaboration with some of today’s most exciting composers and librettists from around the world — to create eleven new opera arias entirely through online work and digital media.

Each singer was partnered with an exciting, diverse, handpicked team: a composer, a librettist and a pianist. Together, they transformed ideas drawn from the singer’s life and experience into a centrepiece aria for an opera yet to be written. The arias, which have since been filmed, are designed to demonstrate the individuality of each singer's vocal talents, and will be used in their audition repertoire for years to come.

Along with filmed performances of each aria, the documentary will première at 7.00pm GMT on OperaVision on 17 November, contextualised with information including biographies and full synopses of the imagined operas from which the arias are taken.