We are thrilled to announce the premiere of our first ever short film, The Narcissistic Fish, which we will launch on Thursday 18th June at 7pm, here on our website.

The 12-minute film is a collaboration between Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Samuel Bordoli, Scottish poet and novelist Jenni Fagan (The Panopticon) and our own in-house filmmaker, Antonia Bain.

Set in the kitchen of a restaurant called The Narcissistic Fish, in the Leith area of Edinburgh, the opera tells the story of the stormy relationship between chefs Angus, Kai and Belle. A phone call during a busy shift alerting brothers, Angus and Kai, to the passing of their father sparks a war between them. Meanwhile, the talented and underpaid chef, Belle, has a revelation of her own.

It features three of our 2019/20 Emerging Artists, baritones Arthur Bruce and Mark Nathan and soprano Charlie Drummond, singing over a digitally created score, that incorporates real sounds from a kitchen as percussion.

The concept of the film was first conceived by Antonia and Samuel two years ago, who had the idea of creating a narrative set in a commercial kitchen. Early in the process, they decided to get Jenni on board to help sculpt the narrative for their vision.

The Herald said: “The Narcissistic Fish may be a new venture for Scottish Opera, but it’s the use of Scots language and the timeliness of the story that will catch the attention as much as the platform, one suspects.”

The Scotsman said: “The instantly accelerating narrative – played out over a bracing 12 minutes – exposes the nastiness of class and gender bias and the narcissism of the title against a percussive symphony of potato slicing, herb chopping and massacred fish, which seem to be in endless supply.”

As well as being able to view the film online, a digital programme will be available to view here.

Thanks go to everyone in the Scottish Opera Team, Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Benefactors, Idlewild Trust, Scottish Opera’s New Commissions Circle and Andrew Lockyer, for their assistance in making the film.