Emily Hazrati and Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh are a composer-librettist creative partnership based in London, UK, with a portfolio spanning chamber opera, art song, vocal ensemble, orchestral works, and open scores. Their work has been commissioned and performed by organisations including Britten Pears Arts, National Youth Choir, Oxford Song, Illuminated River Foundation, Performance Arts Lab, and Guildhall New Music Society.
Their first chamber opera, Paradise Garden, was staged and performed at Milton Court in 2021 as part of the Opera Makers programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, in association with the Royal Opera House. An unconventional love story set during a global pandemic, Paradise Garden is an imagined meeting between Maria de’ Medici, Shah Abbas of Iran, and Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar; exploring the intersection of Iranian heritage, diaspora, postcolonial feminism, and queer dramaturgy.
Emily and Nazli have recently been developing their second chamber opera, TIDE, which received its first, sold-out performances at the Aldeburgh Festival 2022. TIDE is a spiritual meditation on themes of environment, displacement, and belonging; told through the lens of a dark, contemporary myth in our near future where oceans are rising, and the meeting of three women in a tower on an eroding coastline.
Currently, they are interested in developing bold, imaginative new children’s opera, following recent adaptations of Grimm’s Fairytales in collaboration with Jonathan Eyers and Joseph Beesley (Oxford Song, 2023) and a new choral work for young singers (National Youth Choir, 2023). They are also excited to grow their international portfolio and connect with arts organisations across the globe.
(Photo by Patrick Young, Britten Pears Arts)