Joanne Roughton-Arnold - FormidAbility New Opera: The Bridge Between Breaths

Sep 02, 2020, 04:27 PM

Welcome to my interview with Joanne Roughton-Arnold, visually impaired opera singer and cofounder of FormidAbility, Britain’s first fully accessible opera company focusing on their new R&D  opera project The Bridge Between Breaths. 

The Bridge Between Breaths is a new opera which has been inspired on the felling of Colston’s statue, set in Bristol in the late 18th century as Pero Jones mourns for his beloved from the Caribbean island of Nevis.  

A performance of The Bridge Between Breaths videoed  during recent rehearsals in London will be streamed via Zoom on Tuesday 8 September at 6pm to launch the Tate-a-Tate festival. 
Full details on how to watch The Bridge Between Breaths and support the FormidAbility R&D opera project can be found by visiting

When I met up with Joanne via Zoom we chatted about the background to The Bridge Between Breaths,  where the powerful storey for the opera had come from, it’s links to the current times we are in at the moment, how FormidAbility is again breaking boundaries in access to opera by working with an artist to produce artwork live on stage while the opera is being performed to provide a bridge between sound and vision for deaf audiences and what affect Covid19 has had on rehearsals for The Bridge Between Breaths. 

I also took the opportunity to chat with Joanne about her involvement and working with Daniel Pemberton on the soprano parts for his musical score and soundtrack for Rising Phoenix the Netflix documentary about the rise and impact of the Paralympic Games. 

I first began by asking Joanne about how life in lockdown has been for her and her company FormidAbility since we last chatted back in May.