Next weekend, the Atlanta Opera will host its second annual “24-Hour Opera Project Showcase,” an innovative competition where composers, librettists, stage directors and singers will be assembled randomly into teams. First, the composers and lyricists will be paired and will have 12 hours to write a mini-opera. Their work will then be assigned to a stage director, who will pick singers from a pool, and they will have eight hours for rehearsal. The finished products will be performed 24 hours after the start of the project, in front of judges and a live audience.
The performances will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 21, at the Atlanta Opera Center, 1575 Northside Drive, Building 300, Suite 350. Attendance is free, or you can tune in to a live webcast at www.atlantaopera.org. You can vote then for your favorite team via Twitter (@TheAtlantaOpera) or Facebook.
The composers competing in the project are Jason Barabba, Timothy Brown, Sarah Hersh, Jennifer Jolley and Jonathan Stinson. Hersh is from Atlanta and the others from around the country. The lyricists, all from the Atlanta area, are Brad Fairchild, Meghan Fitzgerald, Chadwick Hagan, Curtis Krick and Vynnie Meli. Five stage directors, 15 singers and five accompanists will also participate.
The judges will be Stephanie Adrian, voice professor at Emory University; Andrew Alexander, who writes for ArtsCriticATL and Creative Loafing; John Lemley, host and assistant program director at WABE radio; and Ann Owens, former executive director of the Houston Grand Opera.