The National Opera Studio and Second Movement team up to create new audition pieces
There can be a certain sameness about audition offerings: audition panels can be forgiven for sighing just a little when asked to listen to Die Zauberflöte yet again. Plus, when the audition relates to a work in English or something contemporary - how easy is it to find suitable material? And how to find a piece that technically suits the voice and its stage of development?
Working with partner opera companies the National Opera Studio runs an intensive nine-month course to prepare young singers and repetiteurs for professional careers. Contemporary work forms an important part of the programme and among the many skills singers are taught is the key matter of how to prepare for an audition. This year the Studio reaches its 40th anniversary, and to celebrate has commissioned twelve composers and twelve librettists to collaborate with its young artists in the creation of twelve audition arias.
The project, 12:40, has been undertaken in partnership with Second Movement, a company which produces and curates Rough for Opera, a regular performance platform for new opera and work in development. The arias, composed specially for each singer who will have been involved in the creative process from the outset, are designed to demonstrate the individuality of each singer's vocal talents and will be used in their audition repertoire for years to come.
The selected composer/librettist partnerships are: Na'ama Zisser/Samantha Newton, Cameron Dodds/Ruth Mariner, Tom Randle/Bechara Moufarrej, Bushra El Turk/Cordelia Lynn, Philip Venables/Ted Huffman, Lewis Murphy/Laura Attridge, Hannah Kendall/Tessa McWatt, Benjamin Tassie/Jacqueline Saphra, Samantha Fernando/Rebecca Hurst, Sally Beamish/Peter Thomson, Christian Mason/Oge Nwosu and Rosabella Gregory/Dina Soraya Gregory.
12:40, twelve arias commissioned by the National Opera Studio in partnership with Second Movement will be performed by the Studio’s young artists on June 14 and 15 at Hoxton Hall, London.