24-Hour Opera Project showcases instant operas

New contest creates mini-operas a la “Project Runway”


How long do you think it would take you to write an opera? A year? Two? Maybe three? What if you had to write one with a complete stranger in 24 hours?

Contestants selected to compete in the Atlanta Opera’s 24-Hour Opera Project this weekend will have to do just that. Composers and lyricists from Atlanta and across the country will converge this weekend for the contest, now in its second year. Paired randomly, they’ll have exactly 24 hours to compose, stage, and rehearse a 10-minute opera.

The kick-off event takes place on Friday, January 20, at 5 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, 1328 Peachtree Street. Participating composers and lyricists will be randomly paired together, and then they’ll have exactly 12 hours to write an opera scene. At the end of 12 hours, the pieces will be assigned to a stage director, who will draft singers from a pool of applicants, and with the remaining 8 hours the scene will be rehearsed before being presented in a showcase-concert exactly 24 hours after the project begins.

The big performance of the operas takes place on Saturday, January 21, at 7 pm at The Atlanta Opera Center, 1575 Northside Drive, Bldg. 300, Suite 350 at 7 pm. The event is open to the public and free of charge, and you can also tune in to a live webcast at atlantaopera.org and even vote for “Audience Favorite” via Twitter (@TheAtlantaOpera) or Facebook.