Our Mission

"opera that places accessibility at the foundation

of the creative process"

formidAbility is breaking new ground in accessibility and inclusion in opera for those with disabilities, both onstage and off. We produce and support opera that places accessibility at the foundation of the creative process, rather than adding it as an afterthought.

We believe accessibility and inclusion are tremendously powerful and under-utilised creative tools that can inspire all performers, and that more diverse creative teams benefit the creation and performance processes.


We collaborate with the world’s foremost artists working for or with disability, because we believe that audiences miss out on a world of great art when artists, creators and performers with disabilities are missing from professional performance spaces.

Our People

Joanne image 2.jpg


Director, Singer

Co-founder Joanne Roughton-Arnold is a singer and educator, already known to London audiences from her work with Opera Holland Park, and her one-woman performances at Grimeborn in 2016 and 2019.

Originally from NZ and with a background as a professional violinist, to label Roughton-Arnold as exciting is an understatement. She single-handedly commissions, produces, fundraises and sings projects of astonishing emotion and vision. With a mass of wild copper curls and an arresting belly laugh, her energy is positively atomic.

Her own visual impairment has never curbed her own ambitions and vision as an opera singer and producer, and formidAbility formalises her work into an incorporated non-profit company.




New Zealand-born Holly Mathieson is an award-winning conductor, regularly working with opera houses, ballet companies and orchestras in Europe, Australasia and North America. She is the Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia and Co-Artistic Director of the Nevis Ensemble with Jon Hargreaves. 

She has recorded for BBC Radio, and her first major commercial recording with Decca reached #1 on the UK classical charts. Her work has seen her travel to nearly every continent on the planet, and perform for audiences spanning from the British Royal Family and Europe’s political elites, to Scotland’s homeless and refugee communities.

She was a recipient of a Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship prize in 2013, and in 2016 Zonta New Zealand named her one of NZ's Top 50 Women of Achievement.

Our Supporters

Paul Arnold

Mary Ensor

Patricia Goodson

Jennifer Moates

Rachel Robinson

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Company Limited by Guarantee

Registered in England and Wales


Company Number 11846854


Registered Office: The Annexe, 2 Park House, Watford Rd, Northwood, Middx, HA6 3PF, UK