The 24-Hour Opera Project

Can an inspired opera be created in only 24 hours?

This year the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner highlighted films from the 48 Hour Film Project, an idea conceived by two D.C. filmmakers, Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston, ten years ago.  The mission was to promote film making and filmmakers, but the ancillary result was to build communities of locally creative people and to foster that spirit of creativity.

The 48 Hour Film Project assigns willing filmmakers the genre, characters, prop, and a line of dialogue and says ‘go!’  The 24-Hour Opera Project, sponsored by the Atlanta Opera, pairs composers and lyricists and gives them 12 hours to create a 7-10 minute opera.  Then the score is handed over to a director, pianist, and four singers.  They, in turn, have 8 hours to produce the opera which culminates in a 7 p.m. performance before an audience and a panel of judges.

This year that little movie project sparked 3,000 films with participants in 100 cities.  True, opera is a different animal altogether.  But the format proved successful last year in Atlanta.  This time the performances will be shown to a live audience and via live webcast with the assistance of Turner Broadcasting Systems and Turner Voices on January 21, 2012.

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