Announcing the winners of the 2017-19 Composers & the Voice fellowships!

July 20, 2017

AOP (American Opera Projects) and Composers & the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood have selected six composers and three librettists to receive fellowships for its upcoming ninth season of Composers & the Voice. The 2017-2019 season will train, and present new works from, composers Matthew Browne, Scott Ordway, Frances Pollock, Pamela Stein LyndeAmber Vistein, and Alex Weiser and librettists Laura Barati, Kim Davies, and Sokunthary Svay. The primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give emerging composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and contemporary opera stage.

 

“The philosophy of Composers & the Voice since its beginning has been that by immersing composers and librettists in hands-on work with skilled singers and music directors, we empower them to create groundbreaking works that are true to each of their artistic languages,” says Osgood.  “Composers rarely have the opportunity to work with opera singers during their training, and C&V was designed to address this void. I could not be prouder of the commissions and premieres that have flowed to the alumni of C&V.”

The fellows were chosen from an extensive pool of applicants by a panel made up of C&V and AOP staff and professional artists that included Osgood, AOP General Director Charles Jarden, AOP Producing Director/C&V Head of Drama Matt Gray, C&V Head of Music Mila Henry, librettist Sara Cooper, singer Amy van Roekel, and composers Conrad Cummings, Jeremy Gill, Jennifer Griffith, Laura Kaminsky, Kristin Kuster, and Gregory Spears.

The Composers & the Voice fellowships include a year of working with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team, over 45 hours of “Skill-Building Sessions” of acting courses with director Mary Birnbaum (Die Zauberflöte at Juilliard), theatrical improvisation led by Terry Greiss (Co-Founder, Ensemble Actor, Executive Director of Irondale Ensemble Project), and libretto development with Libretto Writing Instructor Mark Campbell (Silent Night, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, As One), and two public concerts of new works. This is followed by a year of continued promotion and development through AOP and its strategic partnerships.

Composers Ricky Ian Gordon (27, The Grapes of Wrath), David T. Little (Dog Days, JFK), Missy Mazzoli (Breaking the Waves, Songs From the Uproar), Tobias Picker (An American Tragedy, Emmeline), Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell), and Gregory Spears (Fellow Travelers, Paul’s Case), and librettists Gene Scheer (Cold Mountain, Moby Dick) and Royce Vavrek (Dog Days, JFK) will serve as the upcoming season’s “Artistic Chairs,” each of whom are assigned a fellow, providing one-on-one artistic advice and career guidance.

Support for AOP’s Composers & the Voice program is provided in part by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Bios of C&V fellows, singers, instructors, and music directors available at www.aopopera.org/composers_voice/2017-19.html

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Nine leading opera creators to mentor Composers & the Voice fellows

November 20, 2015

C&V Chairs

BROOKLYN, NY – AOP (American Opera Projects) announces the nine “Artistic Chairs” who will provide one-on-one guidance to the Fellows of the 2015-16 Composers & the Voice training program.  Professional artists of high repute from the worlds of opera and musical theatre, the selected Chairs for the eighth season of Composers & the Voice are composers Ricky Ian Gordon (27, A Coffin in Egypt), Daron Hagen (Amelia, Shining Brow), Tobias Picker (American Tragedy, Dolores Claiborne), David T. Little (Dog Days, Soldier Songs) and Missy Mazzoli (Song from the Uproar, Vespers for a new Dark Age), librettists Michael Korie (Harvey Milk, Hopper’s Wife), Gene Scheer (An American Tragedy, Moby Dick), Royce Vavrek (JFK, Dog Days) and composer-librettist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Séance on a Wet Afternoon).

The Composers & the Voice workshop series is a competitive biannual fellowship offered to composers, librettists, and composer/librettist teams that provides experience writing for the voice and opera stage. Created and led by Composers & the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood, the two-year fellowship includes a year of working with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team followed by a year of continued promotion and development through AOP and its strategic partnerships. Since launching in 2002, C&V has fostered the development of 44 composers & librettists.

With each new group of fellows, sponsorships are named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice. During the workshop session these “Composer & the Voice Chairs” make themselves available to our fellows for one-on-one discussions and feedback. Past chairs have included composers Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Tan Dun, Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Richard Peaslee, Kaija Saariaho, and librettist Mark Campbell.

Librettist Mark Campbell (The Manchurian Candidate, Silent Night) gives a lecture to the 2015-16 C&V fellows. Photo by Steven Pisano for AOP.

Librettist Mark Campbell (The Manchurian Candidate, Silent Night) gives a lecture to the 2015-16 C&V fellows. Photo by Steven Pisano for AOP.

The composers and librettists selected for the eighth season began their year-long fellowship starting in September working closely with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers, an artistic team of music directors, guest composers, and instructors in drama and improvisation. All sessions are held in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, home of AOP. More information on this season’s participants can be found at www.aopopera.org/composers_voice.

Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Victor Herbert Foundation sponsors one fellowship as The Victor Herbert Foundation Composers & The Voice Chair, created in memory of longtime opera supporter Lois C. Schwartz.


Gordon RickyRicky Ian Gordon (b. 1956 in Oceanside, NY) studied piano, composition and acting, at Carnegie Mellon University. After moving to New York City, he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater. A highly prolific composer, Ricki Ian Gordon’s recent catalog includes Morning Star (2014, libretto by William Hoffman, Cincinnati Opera), 27 (2014, libretto by Royce Vavrek, Opera Theatre of St. Louis), A Coffin In Egypt (2014, libretto by Leonard Foglia, Houston Grand Opera, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and Opera Philadelphia), Rappahannock County (2011, libretto by Mark Campbell, Harrison Opera House), Sycamore Trees (2010, libretto by composer), and The Grapes of Wrath (2007 and 2010, libretto by Michael Korie, 2007, Minnesota Opera, 2010, The American Symphony Orchestra). Additional works: Green Sneakers (2008, libretto by the composer, Miami String Quartet), Orpheus and Euridice (2005), My Life with Albertine (2003), Night Flight To San Francisco and Antarctica (2000) from Tony Kushner’s Angels In America, Dream True (1999), States Of Independence (1992), The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1996), Only Heaven (1995). Upcoming and recent projects include the opera Intimate Apparel with Playwright, Lynn Nottage as a commissions from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and an opera based on Giorgio Bassani’s novel, The Garden of the Finzi Continis with librettist Michael Korie. http://rickyiangordon.com


 

Hagen DarenDuring the course of his thirty-five years on the scene, Daron Hagen has become one of the most comprehensively experienced and knowledgeable theater composers of our time. Of his eleven regularly-revived operas, he has co-written all of the treatments, co-written several of the libretti, written the book and lyrics for his own commercial musical, stage directed several, conducted the cast recordings and premières of several, coached them all from the piano, and supervised set and lighting teams executing his designs. He has extensive experience playing in opera and musical theater pit orchestras, from the regional bus-and-truck level to Broadway; he’s served as a copyist, proofreader, arranger, and editor on Broadway, ghost-written film scores, and executed electro-acoustic soundscapes for integration into his own theatrical scores. He has served as a dramaturgical consultant for a dozen major operatic projects. Hagen has composed new works for the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and Opera, National Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic. Collaborators include Nathan Gunn, Kate Lindsey, Robert Orth, Stephen Wadsworth, Leonard Bernstein, Robert Spano, JoAnn Falletta, Gary Graffman, Jaime Laredo, and Gerard Schwarz in premieres at the Louvre, Royal Albert Hall, and the Ullens Center (Beijing). He graduated Curtis and Juilliard. http://daronhagen.com


 

KORIE MichaelMichael Korie is a Tony-nominated American lyricist and librettist. Writing for musical theater, he created the lyrics to composer Scott Frankel’s music for Grey Gardens, Far From Heaven, Doll, Happiness, and Meet Mister Future. Their scores have been nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards, received The Outer Critics Circle Award, and have been produced on Broadway, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, throughout the USA, in Europe and South America. In winter of 2016, Grey Gardens will make its London premiere. For opera, Korie adapted John Steinbeck’s novel for the libretto to The Grapes of Wrath, composer Ricky Ian Gordon, and created the original librettos to operas with composer Stewart Wallace including Harvey Milk, Hopper’s Wife, Where’s Dick?, and Kabbalah. His opera works have been produced at San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Disney Los Angeles Symphony Hall. Concert works include Gay Century Songbook with composer Larry Grossman at Carnegie Hall, and Positions 1956 with Composers & the Voice alumni composer Conrad Cummings at The Knitting Factory and Urban Arias. Korie’s lyrics have received the Edward Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, and the ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award. http://michaelkorie.com


 

Little David TDavid T. Little is “one of the most imaginative young composers” on the scene (The New Yorker) with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times). His operas Soldier Songs (PROTOTYPE) and Dog Days (Peak Performances/Beth Morrison Projects) have been widely acclaimed, “prov(ing) beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future” (NYTimes). Recent/upcoming works include the grand opera JFK with Royce Vavrek (Fort Worth Opera/ALT), a new opera commissioned by the MET Opera/Lincoln Center Theater new works program, the music-theatre work Artaud in the Black Lodge (Beth Morrison Projects), AGENCY (Kronos), CHARM (Baltimore Symphony / Marin Alsop), Haunt of Last Nightfall (Third Coast Percussion), Hellhound (Maya Beiser), and new works for the London Sinfonietta, The Crossing/ICE, and eighth blackbird/The Kennedy Center. His music has been heard at LA Opera, Carnegie Hall, Park Avenue Armory, Bang On a Can Marathon, BAM, and Holland Festival, and 2015-16 brings performances at Atlanta Opera, LA Philharmonic, NYFOS, PROTOTYPE, Theater-Bielefeld, Theater-Schwerin, and more. Educated at Princeton and the University of Michigan, Little is co-founder of the New Music Bake Sale, serves on the Composition Faculty at Mannes-The New School, and is Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam and Innova labels. He is published by Boosey & Hawkes. www.davidtlittle.com


 

Mazzoli MissyRecently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (New York Times) and “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out New York), Missy Mazzoli has had her music performed globally by the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, New York City Opera, the Minnesota Orchestra and many others. She is Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music Theatre-Group, and in 2011-2012 was composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony. In February 2012 Beth Morrison Projects presented Song from the Uproar, Missy’s first multimedia chamber opera, which had a sold-out run at venerable New York venue The Kitchen. The Wall Street Journal called this work “both powerful and new”, and the New York Times claimed that “in the electric surge of Ms. Mazzoli’s score you felt the joy, risk and limitless potential of free spirits unbound.” Recent months included the premiere of an extended work for her ensemble Victoire and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and new works performed by pianist Emanuel Ax, Kronos Quartet, the LA Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony. With librettist Royce Vavrek, Missy is currently working on an operatic adaptation of Breaking the Waves, a 1996 film by Lars von Trier. Breaking the Waves will premiere at Opera Philadelphia in 2016. Missy recently joined the faculty at Mannes College of Music, and her works are published by G. Schirmer. http://missymazzoli.com


 

picker tobias

Tobias Picker, called “our finest composer for the lyric stage” (The Wall Street Journal), has composed works in all genres including five operas to date. Picker’s operas have been commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera, (Emmeline), The LA Opera, (Fantastic Mr. Fox), The Dallas Opera, (Thérèse Raquin), San Francisco Opera (Dolores Claiborne), and The Metropolitan Opera (An American Tragedy). His operas have gone on to be produced by New York City Opera, San Diego Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Chicago Opera Theater, Covent Garden, Opera Holland Park, English Touring Opera and many other distinguished companies. In addition, Picker has composed numerous concert works, commissioned and performed by the greatest orchestras, ensembles and concert artists of our time, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, L’Orchestre de Paris, Munich Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Opéra de Montréal, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna RSO, and Zurich Tonahalle, among others. His concert works include three symphonies, four piano concertos as well as concertos for violin, viola, cello, and oboe, and numerous other compositions. Mr. Picker has received numerous awards and prizes, including a Charles Ives Scholarship and Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012. http://tobiaspicker.com


 

Scheer, GeneGene Scheer’s work is noted for its scope and versatility. With the composer Jake Heggie he has collaborated on a number of different projects, including the critically acclaimed 2010 Dallas Opera world premiere, Moby-Dick, starring Ben Heppner as Captain Ahab; Three Decembers (Houston Grand Opera), which starred Frederica von Stade; and the lyric drama To Hell and Back (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), which featured Patti LuPone. Other works by Scheer and Heggie include Camille Claudel: Into the fire, a song cycle premiered by Joyce di Donato and the Alexander String Quartet. Mr. Scheer worked as librettist with Tobias Picker on An American Tragedy, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005. Their first opera, Thérèse Raquin, written for the Dallas Opera in 2001, was cited by Opera News as one of the ten best recordings of 2002.  Other recent collaborations include the lyrics for Wynton Marsalis’s It Never Goes Away, featured in Mr. Marsalis’s work Congo Square.  With the composer Steven Stucky, Mr. Scheer wrote the oratorio August 4, 1964. The work, recently nominated for a Grammy, was premiered by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and last season was performed by the orchestra, with Japp von Sweeden conducting, at Carnegie Hall. Also a composer in his own right, Mr. Scheer has written a number of songs for singers such as Renée Fleming, Sylvia McNair, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Larmore, Denyce Graves, and Nathan Gunn.  http://genescheer.com


Schwartz_Stephen_Schwartz01New York City native Stephen Schwartz has been a major force in the American Musical Theater since the early 1970’s, when he had three hit shows running on Broadway: Godspell (recipient of two Grammy Awards), Pippin, and The Magic Show. Schwartz went on to write the music and lyrics for The Baker’s Wife and contributed four songs to a musical version of Studs Terkel’s Working. More recently, he composed lyrics and music to the long-running Broadway smash, Wicked, which brought him another Grammy. Schwartz has become one of the best-known creators of animated film music, contributing Academy Award-winning lyrics to Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas, and writing both the music and lyrics for DreamWorks’ Prince of Egypt which included the Academy Award-winning song, “When You Believe.” The song score of the 2007 film, Enchanted, contained three Oscar-nominated songs by Schwartz and composer Alan Menken. Among Schwartz’s best-known songs are “Corner of the Sky,” “Just Around the Riverbend,” “Colors of the Wind,” “Defying Gravity” and “Popular.” His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was developed by American Opera Projects in its Frist Chance program. It premiered at Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009 and was later produced by New York City Opera. http://stephenschwartz.com


 

Vavrek Royce

Royce Vavrek is a Brooklyn-based writer of opera, musical theater, and concert works.  His notable lyrics/libretti include Dog Days, Am I Born and Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera with David T. Little; 27 with Ricky Ian Gordon; Song from the Uproar with Missy Mazzoli; O Columbia with Gregory Spears; Strip Mall with Matt Marks; Yoani and The Hubble Cantata with Paola Prestini; Violations with Hannah Lash; and The Hunger Art and Maren of Vardø with Jeff Myers.  Upcoming projects include Stoned Prince with Hannah Lash for American Opera Projects; JFK with David T. Little for Fort Worth Opera/American Lyric Theater; Angel’s Bone with Du Yun for the Prototype Festival; Midwestern Gothic with Joshua Schmidt for Signature Theatre, Virginia; The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters for Center for Contemporary Opera; Knoxville: Summer of 2015 with Ellen Reid for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Epistle with Julian Wachner for VisionIntoArt; The House Without a Christmas Tree with Ricky Ian Gordon for Houston Grand Opera and Breaking the Waves, an adaptation of the film by Lars von Trier, with Missy Mazzoli for Opera Philadelphia/Beth Morrison Projects. Royce is Co-Artistic Director with soprano Lauren Worsham of the opera-theater company The Coterie, and an alum of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University (Montreal), the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU, and American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program.


ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Founded in 1988, American Opera Projects is at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement, commissioning, developing, presenting, and producing opera and music theatre projects, collaborating with young, rising, and established artists, and engaging audiences in unique and transformative theatrical experiences. AOP has produced over 30 world premieres, including the Nathan Davis/Brendan Pelsue dance chamber opera Hagoromo starring Wendy Whelan (BAM, 2015), Kaminsky/Reed/Campbell’s As One (BAM, 2014), Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom (Irondale Center, 2014), and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind (co-production with Lincoln Center Festival, 2013). Other notable premieres include Kimper/Persons’ Patience & Sarah (1998), Weisman/Rabinowitz’s Darkling (2006), Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking (2008), and Phil Kline’s Out Cold, also at BAM (2012). AOP-developed operas that premiered with co-producers include Stefan Weisman’s The Scarlet Ibis at PROTOTYPE Festival (2015), Gregory Spears’s Paul’s Case at Urban Arias (2013) and PROTOTYPE Festival and Pittsburgh Opera (2014), Jack Perla’s Love/Hate at ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera (2012), Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness at London’s Royal Opera House (2011) and Opera Parallèle (2015).  www.aopopera.org


AOP Awards Fellowships to Ten Composers And Librettists For Free Training In Opera Composition

July 22, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Matt Gray, AOP Producing Director, 718-398-4024, mgray@operaprojects.org
Press material is available at: www.operaprojects.org/press

July 21, 2015

BROOKLYN’S AOP AWARDS FELLOWSHIPS TO TEN COMPOSERS AND LIBRETTISTS FOR FREE TRAINING IN OPERA COMPOSITION

FELLOWS WILL STUDY FOR NINE MONTHS WITH PROFESSIONAL OPERA SINGERS, INSTRUCTORS, MENTORS

EIGHTH SEASON OF TRAINING PROGRAM “COMPOSERS & THE VOICE” TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER

BROOKLYN, NY – AOP (American Opera Projects) and Composers & the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood have selected six composers and four librettists to receive fellowships for its upcoming eighth cycle of Composers & the Voice. The 2015-2017 season will include composers Matthew Barnson, Carlos R. Carrillo, Nell Shaw Cohen, Marc LeMay, Cecilia Livingston, and Sky Macklay and librettists Edward Einhorn, Duncan McFarlane, Emily Roller, and Mark Sonnenblick. The primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give emerging composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and contemporary opera stage.

The two-year fellowships, made possible through a generous grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, include a year of working with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team at AOP’s home base in Fort Greene, Brooklyn followed by a year of continued promotion and development through AOP and its strategic partnerships.

Comprised of one each of the basic operatic/vocal categories, the singers for the upcoming C&V season will be coloratura soprano Tookah Sapper, lyric soprano Jennifer Goode Cooper, mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert, tenor Blake Friedman, baritone Michael Weyandt and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody. The Resident Ensemble will be joined by returning Music Directors Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, and Charity Wicks to collaborate on creating new material by the composer and librettist fellows.

YEAR ONE FELLOWSHIP

The Composers & the Voice workshop sessions between September 2015 and April 2016, include composition of solo works for the six voice types. In addition, over 45 hours of “Skill-Building Sessions” for composers and librettists will provide an in-depth and firsthand knowledge of how singers build characters, act in scenes and sing text. These will include acting courses by director Pat Diamond (Wolf Trap, The Aspen Music Festival), theatrical improvisation led by Terry Greiss (co-founder and Executive Director, Irondale Ensemble Project), and a new extended course in libretto development designed by librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, The Manchurian Candidate, As One).

“I can think of no better forum for a composer with a passion for learning the traditions of so-called progressive American opera theater than AOP’s program,” said opera composer and guest C&V instructor Daron Hagen.

Past “Composer Chairs,” sponsorships named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice, have included composers John Corigliano, Daron Hagen, Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, Tan Dun and composer-librettist Stephen Schwartz.

At the end of the workshop sessions, AOP will present the results of the participants’ work in public performances – First Glimpse, a concert of songs in Spring 2016, and Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes in Fall 2016.

YEAR TWO FELLOWSHIP

Following the Six Scenes performances, Composers & the Voice enters its second year of its two-year cycle and focuses on the development and further promotion of the Fellows’ C&V-created works. This includes potential workshops and presentations in AOP “First Chance” opera development program as well as concert series that have included partnerships with Opera Memphis, Phoenix Concerts, Opera on Tap, and Two Sides Sounding, to name a few.

Select C&V operas-in-progress will receive staged readings in 2017 through a twelve-year AOP partnership with The Manhattan School of Music (www.msmnyc.edu) and a new affiliation with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (www.schoolofmusic.ucla.edu). These readings using student performers provide continued development of C&V projects while serving to introduce contemporary opera to students.

The second year of the cycle will also include a new partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat (http://hermitageartistretreat.org) that nurtures creativity in mid-career writers, painters, poets, playwrights, composers, translators, sculptors, and artists. A C&V Fellow (or Fellowship team) will be selected to receive a 6-week residency to continue opera development at the Hermitage’s Florida estate. AOP artists who have been in residence at The Hermitage include Laura Kaminsky (As One), Mark Campbell (As One), Phil Kline (Out Cold), Lera Auerbach (The Blind), and Huang Ruo (Paradise interrupted).

HISTORY OF COMPOSERS & THE VOICE

“I can think of no better forum for a composer with a passion for learning the traditions of so-called progressive American opera theater than AOP’s program,” said opera composer and guest C&V instructor Daron Hagen.

Since launching in 2002, C&V has fostered the development of 44 composers & librettists including Stefan Weisman (The Scarlet Ibis, PROTOTYPE Festival, 2015), Hannah Lash (Aspen Music Festival), Aleksandra Vrebalov (Mileva, Serbian National Theater), and Vivian Fung (2013 Juno Award “Classical Composition of the Year”). Alumni works that went through AOP’s opera development program and continued to a world premiere include Paul’s Case (UrbanArias 2013, Gregory Spears), and Love/Hate (ODC/San Francisco Opera 2012, Jack Perla). A complete list of alumni can be found at www.aopopera.org/composers_voice.

“Composer Chairs,” sponsorships named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice, have included composers John Corigliano, Daron Hagen, Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, Tan Dun and composer-librettist Stephen Schwartz.

AOP Composers & the Voice Fellows have received grants and honors from the following organizations: Aaron Copland Fund for Music, ASCAP, BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, OPERA America, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, the Fulbright Foundation, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Douglas Moore Fellowship, Tapestry New Opera Works, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, New Dramatists, and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation.

SUPPORT

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation continues its support of AOP’s Composers & the Voice program through 2016 as part of a multi-year grant award, which also covers artistic personnel and other program activities. The Victor Herbert Foundation will sponsor one fellow’s expenses for travel and costs of preparing and producing scenes with The Victor Herbert Foundation Composers & the Voice Chair, created in memory of longtime opera supporter and former AOP board member, Lois C. Schwartz.

COMPOSER AND LIBRETTIST FELLOW BIOS

Composers

Matthew Barnson is the composer of numerous works for orchestras, choirs, string quartets, voices, chamber ensembles, dancers, and computers.  An assistant professor of composition at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he has received fellowships, commissions, and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kennedy Center, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Royal Academy of Music, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, ISCM World Music Days, MATA, Wigmore Hall, Aspen, the San Francisco War Memorial and other venues throughout the United States and Europe. His album of string quartets, Sibyl Tones, was released on Tzadik in 2014. He lives in New York.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, composer Carlos R. Carrillo is the recipient of numerous awards including the Bearns Prize, the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI and ASCAP awards. He has been commissioned by Music and the Anthology for the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New York Youth Symphony, Concert Artists Guild and the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. Dr. Carrillo holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Yale University (MM) and the University of Pennsylvania (PhD). He is Assistant Professor of Composition-Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. www.music.illinois.edu/faculty/carlos-carrillo

Nell Shaw Cohen’s lyrically expressive, visually evocative music has been performed by The JACK Quartet, WordSong, and members of The Chelsea Symphony and A Far Cry. In 2014, Cohen served as NYU Symphony Composer-in-Residence and her monodrama The Coming of Spring received a workshop staging at Provincetown Playhouse in NYC. A multidisciplinary artist, she frequently integrates her music with video and installations for web & mobile. Cohen has collaborated with The Peabody Essex Museum and Parrish Art Museum to present her music inspired by art. As founder of composers’ network and publication LandscapeMusic.org, she advocates for music that engages with nature and place. Cohen (b. 1988), M.M. New York University, B.M. New England Conservatory, has studied with Herschel Garfein, Michael Gandolfi, Missy Mazzoli, and Julia Wolfe. www.nellshawcohen.com

Marc LeMay is a composer based in Philadelphia, where he is a Doctoral Fellow in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania. Marc’s career as a composer has spanned a variety of media, from works for solo instruments and chamber ensembles to pieces for singers, choir, orchestra, and electroacoustic forces. A frequent collaborator, he has also written extensively for dance, theatre, film, art installations, and interactive media. His wide-ranging interests include philosophy, pop culture, words, maps, ritual, spirituality, and social issues; these interests continue to inform and influence his music. Upcoming projects will focus on works for the opera stage. http://www.marclemaymusic.com

Cecilia Livingston is known across Canada and the US for intensely dramatic chamber and vocal music, Cecilia Livingston explores memory, place, childhood, and solitude in a lush yet spare musical language that reveals the strange made familiar and the familiar made strange. A 2014 Composition Fellow at Bang On a Can’s Summer Music Festival, her music has been heard at the 21C Music Festival, World Choral Games (Latvia), Eastman’s Women In Music Festival, Vancouver International Song Institute, Scotia Festival of Music, ACDA’s Summer Choral Composers Forum, Tapestry Opera’s Composer-Librettist Laboratory, Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop, and on tour in Canada with The Bicycle Opera Project. She lives in Toronto.  www.cecilialivingston.com

Sky Macklay is a composer, oboist, and multimedia artist originally from Minnesota and now based in NYC. Her recent projects include a piece for Spektral Quartet’s Comic Cadences album (Many Many Cadences), a sonic and kinetic installation of harmonica-playing inflatable sculptures (Harmonibots), and new works for ICE and the New York Virtuoso Singers. Her orchestral piece, Dissolving Bands, was commissioned by the Lexington (MA) Symphony and was the winner of the 2013 Leo Kaplan award from ASCAP. Sky is pursuing her DMA in composition at Columbia University and is on the faculty of The Walden School Young Musicians Program.

Librettists

Edward Einhorn is a director, playwright, librettist, and novelist. Among his work: plays about neurology; adaptations of sci-fi novels; translations of plays written in French, Czech, and ancient Greek; puppet theater; modern Oz novels; explorations of economic theory; autobiographical found text explorations; midrashim on Jewish cultural icons; and picture books about math. Recently, he has worked at HERE, La MaMa, 3LD Art & Technology Center, The New Ohio, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Walter Bruno Theater at Lincoln Center, The Brick, and the Czech Embassy. The New York Times has called his work “exquisitely ingenious”, “dramatically shrewd,” and “almost unbearably funny”.

Duncan McFarlane studies and teaches satire, writes lyrics and libretti as asked, and denies that brevity’s wit’s soul.

Emily Roller is the librettist for Esther and Teach for A While, which received readings in the 2015 Thesis Reading Series at NYU. She is also the author of The Alloway Files (New Stein Publishing House),Hookers, Flankers, and Locks (Bare Knuckles Press), and many short pieces for the page and the stage. She is a graduate of Yale, the MA in Writing program at Johns Hopkins, and the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU Tisch. She lives in Brooklyn and blogs at www.ejroller.com.

Mark Sonnenblick writes words and music. As playwright, lyricist, and/or composer: Independents (“Best Production” FringeNYC, NYTimes “Critics’ Pick”), Ship Show (Yale Institute for Music Theatre), Stompcat in Lawndale (Ars Nova), Wheel of Misfortune (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), Rodman in North Korea (Houghton Lyric Theater), and Bunkerville (Yale DRAMAT). Mark has been a composer fellow at the John Duffy Institute (Virginia Arts Festival), a member of the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project, and a finalist for the Kleban Prize. Currently, Mark is a Dramatists Guild fellow and a librettist for the Kennedy Center’s American Opera Initiative. www.marksonnenblick.com

Bios of C&V singers and music directors available at http://bit.ly/1JeFmE5

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

At the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for over a quarter-century, AOP creates, develops and presents opera and music theatre projects collaborating with young, rising and established artists in the field. AOP has produced over 25 world premieres, most recently Kaminsky/Reed/Campbell’s As One (2014), Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom (2014), and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind (2013), a co-production with Lincoln Center Festival. Other notable premieres include Kimper/Persons’ Patience & Sarah (1998), Weisman/Rabinowitz’s Darkling (2006), Lee Hoiby’s This Is the Rill Speaking (2008), and Phil Kline’s Out Cold (2012) at BAM. AOP-developed operas that premiered with co-producers:  Gregory Spears’s Paul’s Case at UrbanArias (2013) and PROTOtype Festival (Jan 2014), Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas at Milwaukee Opera Theatre (2013), Jack Perla’s Love/Hate at ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera (2012), Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness at London’s Royal Opera House (2011) and Opera Parallèle (2015, San Francisco), Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera (2010), Huang Ruo’s Paradise Interrupted at Spoleto Festival USA (2015). http://www.aopopera.org

UPCOMING in 2015: Hagoromo at BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival, As One at West Edge Opera (Berkeley, CA) and UrbanArias (Arlington, VA).


Applications for Composers & the Voice 2015-17 available March 16

February 25, 2015

American Opera Projects (AOP) announces the return of its popular Composers & the Voice program for its 2015-17 seasons. Created and led by Composers & the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood, composers, librettists, and composer/librettist teams will be selected for a two-year fellowship that includes a year of working with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team followed by a year of continued promotion and development through AOP and its strategic partnerships.  All sessions will be at AOP’s home base in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Applications and complete information will be available beginning March 16 at www.operaprojects.org/composers_voice. The deadline for applications is May 15 with fellowships announced by July 1.

The primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and opera stage.  The workshop sessions between September 2015 and April 2016, include composition of solo works for six voice types (coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and bass). In addition, over 45 hours of “Skill-Building Sessions” for composers and librettists will provide an in-depth and firsthand knowledge of how singers build characters, act in scenes and sing text. These will include acting courses by director Pat Diamond (Wolf Trap, The Aspen Music Festival), theatrical improvisation led by Terry Greiss (co-founder and Executive Director, Irondale Ensemble Project), and a new extended course in libretto development designed by librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, The Manchurian Candidate, As One).

Fellows from the seventh season of Composers & the Voice in a workshop session. Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky

Fellows from the seventh season of Composers & the Voice in a workshop session. Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky

“I can think of no better forum for a composer with a passion for learning the traditions of so-called progressive American opera theater than AOP’s program,” said opera composer and guest C&V instructor Daron Hagen.

Past “Composer Chairs,” sponsorships named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice, have included composers John Corigliano, Daron Hagen, Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, Tan Dun and composer-librettist Stephen Schwartz.

At the end of the workshop sessions, AOP will present the results of the participants’ work in public performances – First Glimpse, a concert of songs in Spring 2016, and Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes in Fall 2016.

Following the Six Scenes performances, Composers & the Voice enters its second year of its two-year cycle and focuses on the development and further promotion of the Fellows’ C&V-created works. This includes potential workshops and presentations in AOP “First Chance” opera development program as well as concert series that have included partnerships with Opera Memphis, Phoenix Concerts, Opera on Tap, and Two Sides Sounding, to name a few.

Select C&V operas-in-progress will receive staged readings in 2017 through a twelve-year AOP partnership with The Manhattan School of Music (www.msmnyc.edu) and a new affiliation with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (www.schoolofmusic.ucla.edu). These readings using student performers provide continued development of C&V projects while serving to introduce contemporary opera to students. Previous C&V works at MSM have included Jack Perla’s Love Hate (2012 premiere, ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera), Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case (World premiere, UrbanArias (2013) and PROTOTYPE Festival (Jan 2014)), and Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King (concert premiere, PortlandOvations, May 2014).

The second year of the cycle will also include a new partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat (http://hermitageartistretreat.org) that nurtures creativity in mid-career writers, painters, poets, playwrights, composers, translators, sculptors, and artists. A C&V Fellow (or Fellowship team) will be selected to receive a 6-week residency to continue opera development at the Hermitage’s Florida estate. AOP artists who have been in residence at The Hermitage include Laura Kaminsky (As One), Mark Campbell (As One), Phil Kline (Out Cold), Lera Auerbach (The Blind), and Huang Ruo (Paradise interrupted).

Since launching in 2002, C&V has fostered the development of 44 composers & librettists. Alumni works that went through AOP’s opera development program and continued to a world premiere include Love/Hate (ODC/San Francisco Opera 2012, Jack Perla), Paul’s Case (UrbanArias 2013, Gregory Spears), and The Scarlet Ibis (PROTOTYPE 2015, Stefan Weisman).

Past AOP Composers & the Voice Fellows have received grants and honors from the following organizations: Aaron Copland Fund for Music, ASCAP, BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, OPERA America, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, the Fulbright Foundation, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Douglas Moore Fellowship, Tapestry New Opera Works, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, New Dramatists, and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation continues its support of AOP’s Composers & the Voice program through 2016 as part of a two hundred thousand ($200,000) multi-year grant award, which also covers artistic personnel and other program activities.

During his tenure as Artistic Director of American Opera Projects (2001 to 2008), Steven Osgood created Composers & the Voice, and conducted the world premieres of Paula Kimper and Wende Persons’ Patience & Sarah at the Lincoln Center Festival, and Janice Hamer and Mary Azrael’s Lost Childhood at the International Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv). He has also conducted premieres by Laura Kaminsky (As One), Stefan Weisman (The Scarlet Ibis), Kamala Sankaram (Thumbprint), Jonathan Sheffer (Blood on the Dining Room Floor), Tan Dun (Peony Pavilion), Xenakis (Oresteia), Missy Mazzoli (Song from the Uproar), Mohammed Fairouz (Sumeida’s Song), and Daron Hagen (Little Nemo in Slumberland). He has served on the Music Staff of the Metropolitan Opera since 2006.  Upcoming productions include Glory Denied (Opera Memphis), Three Decembers (Atlanta Opera), and The Long Walk (world premiere, Opera Saratoga).


AOP PRESENTS “FIRST GLIMPSE” OF EMERGING COMPOSERS & LIBRETTISTS IN BROOKLYN

April 24, 2014
C&V Fellows 2013-14

COMPOSER DARON HAGEN HOSTS

WORLD PREMIERE SONGS FROM THE 2013-14 
SEASON OF COMPOSERS & THE VOICE

BROOKLYN, NY, April 24, 2014– On Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19, 2014 at 7:30pm AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS (AOP) will present COMPOSERS & THE VOICE: FIRST GLIMPSE 2014, the first public presentation of compositions developed during this season’s Composers & the Voice (C&V) program. Composer Daron Hagen hosts the concert of songs written by five emerging composers – Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz – and one composer/librettist team, Joseph Rubinstein and Jason Kim, who were chosen by AOP to spend a year creating new works focusing on the operatic voice. The performances will be held at South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the home of AOP. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students/seniors and are available at www.operaprojects.org.

Composer Daron Hagen (AmeliaA Woman in Morocco) will host the concert. In addition to seven months of workshop training sessions, the C&V fellows received one-on-one mentoring from Mr. Hagen, as well as esteemed composers Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Stephen Schwartz and librettist Mark Campbell. Each of these distinguished artists review their fellow’s work, offer feedback, and participate in C&V discussions.

The AOP Resident Ensemble of Singers performing at First Glimpse are sopranos Deborah Lifton (Center for Contemporary Opera, Encompass New Opera Theatre, Joy In Singing Competition Winner) and Kristin Sampson (Best Female Performer Award- Mezzo Television Armel Opera Competition, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Santa Fe Opera), mezzo Rachel Calloway (Castleton Festival, Gotham Chamber Opera, PROTOTYPE), tenor Dominic Armstrong (New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago), baritone Jorell Williams (Caramoor International Music Festival, New York City Encores!, Opera Theatre of St. Louis), and bass-baritone Matthew Burns (Bard SummerScape, Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera). Supporting on piano will be Composers & the Voice Music Directors Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, and Charity Wicks.

Created and led by Artistic Director Steven Osgood (and former Artistic Director of AOP), Composers & the Voice began in 2002 and is currently in its seventh season.American Opera Projects selects six composers for a year-long fellowship to work with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers for the nationally recognized workshop series, with additional training in acting, improv, and libretto study. The primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and contemporary opera stage. Participants meet in closed sessions from September to April to present and discuss new works composed specifically for the individual voices of the Resident Ensemble.

Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Composers & the Voice fellows are supported, in part, by funding from The Victor Herbert Foundation.

First Glimpse 2014 on May 18 and 19 will be the first public performances of compositions created during this year’s workshops. In September 2014, the Composers & the Voice fellows will return from a summer hiatus with Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes presented as part of AOP’s First Chance series. One of these scenes will be selected to receive a staged reading at Manhattan School of Music in Spring 2015 as part of their annual “New American Opera Previews, from Page to Stage”.

FG14-banner-5_1

AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS presents

Composers & the Voice: First Glimpse 2014
World Premiere Songs from the 2013-14 Season of Composers & the Voice

COMPOSITIONS BY: Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz, Joseph Rubinstein and Jason Kim
MUSIC DIRECTION: Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, Charity Wicks
PERFORMANCES BY: Deborah Lifton, Kristin Sampson, Rachel Calloway, Dominic Armstrong, Jorell Williams, Matthew Burns
HOSTED BY: Daron Hagen

COMPOSERS & THE VOICE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Steven Osgood

Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. 
South Oxford Space
138 S. Oxford St., Brooklyn, NY 11217

Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center
D, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue
Train: Long Island Railroad to Atlantic Terminal – Barclays Center
Bus: B25, B26, B45, B52, B63, all stop within three blocks of South Oxford Space

Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM and Barclays Center

Tickets: $15 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors
Tickets available at www.operaprojects.org 

Complete information about Composers & the Voice and this year’s artists can be found at www.operaprojects.org/composers_voice

ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFO AND PRESS MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.operaprojects.org

PRESS PHOTOS AVAILABLE HERE.


AOP Awards Seven Fellowships for Year of Free Training in Opera Composition

July 17, 2013

FELLOWSHIP MENTORS INCLUDE MARK CAMPBELL, DARON HAGEN, JAKE HEGGIE, LIBBY LARSEN, JOHN MUSTO, TOBIAS PICKER, STEPHEN SCHWARTZ

BROOKLYN, NY – AOP (American Opera Projects) announces six composers and a librettist for its seventh season of Composers & the Voice. Chosen by Composers & the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood, the 2013-2014 season will include composers Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz, Joseph Rubinstein and librettist Jason Kim. The primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give emerging composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and contemporary opera stage.

The composers and librettists will begin their year-long fellowship in September, working with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers – sopranos Deborah Lifton and Kristin Sampson, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, tenor Dominic Armstrong, baritone Jorell Williams, and bass-baritone Matthew Burns – an Artistic Team of music directors, guest composers, and instructors in drama and improv. All sessions will be in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, home of AOP.

The fellowship includes one-on-one interaction with the Artistic Chairs of Composers & the Voice, a group of established professional artists from the worlds of opera and music theatre. This year’s Artistic Chairs are librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, Later the Same Evening), composers Daron Hagen (Amelia, Shining Brow), Jake Heggie (Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking), John Musto (The Inspector, Later the Same Evening), Tobias Picker (American Tragedy, Dolores Claiborne), Libby Larsen (Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, Picnic), and composer-librettist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Séance on a Wet Afternoon). Past chairs include Kaija Saariaho, Tan Dun, John Corigliano, and Lee Hoiby.

Steven Osgood advises composer Hannah Lash in a previous season of Composers & the Voice.

Steven Osgood advises composer Hannah Lash in a previous season of Composers & the Voice.

At the end of the program, AOP will present the results of the participants’ work in public performances – First Glimpse, a concert of songs in Spring 2014, and Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes in Fall 2014. One of these operas-in-progress will be selected to receive a staged reading at Manhattan School of Music in Spring 2015.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation continues its support of AOP’s Composers & the Voice program through 2014 as part of a two hundred thousand ($200,000) multi-year grant award, which also covers artistic personnel and other program activities. The Victor Herbert Foundation has established a new position this year, and will sponsor one fellow’s expenses for travel and costs of preparing and producing scenes outside C&V program activities in 2014. The selected fellow will hold The Victor Herbert Foundation Composers & The Voice Chair, created in memory of longtime opera supporter and former AOP board member, Lois C. Schwartz.

Previous fellows in the Composers & the Voice program have gone on to receive numerous awards, commissions, and premieres, including Jack Perla (Love/Hate, San Francisco Opera, 2012), Gregory Spears (Paul’s Case, UrbanArias, 2013, Prototype Festival (NYC) and Pittsburgh Opera, 2014), Stefan Weisman (Darkling, AOP commission, NYC, 2006), Hannah Lash (Aspen Music Festival), Daniel Felsenfeld (Nora, In the Great Outdoors, AOP commission, NYC, 2011), Daniel Sonenberg (The Summer King, Fort Worth Opera Frontiers, 2013), Aleksandra Vrebalov (Mileva, Serbian National Theater), and Vivian Fung (2013 Juno Award “Classical Composition of the Year”). A complete list of alumni can be found at AOP’s website, operaprojects.org/composers_voice.htm.

BIOS

C&V FELLOWS

Barash, Guy_by Glenn CornettGuy Barash is a composer of modern music. His compositions include symphonic, chamber, vocal and electroacoustic works. He has written an extensive body of work that incorporates text in various settings and arrangements. Born and raised in Israel, Barash completed his B.A. in music from the University of Haifa. He holds a master’s degree in music composition from NYU.  Guy Barash’s collaboration with American author Nick Flynn on Proteus, a chamber oratorio based on Flynn’s second memoir The Ticking Is The Bomb, had its world premiere at Galapagos Art Space in 2010. Blind Huber for two singers and chamber ensemble based on the eponymous book of poems by Flynn was premiered fall 2011 at Greenwich House. Barash’s recent collaborations have been with a wide array of artists on multidisciplinary projects.  In 2012 Guy was composer-in-residence at Turtle Bay Music School as a recipient of Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Award. guybarash.com

Finberg, Avner_hsAvner Finberg is an Israeli composer and violinist currently residing in the United States. His music has been performed in the United States and abroad by orchestras and ensembles including the Mannes Orchestra, Meitar Ensemble, and the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia.  Mr. Finberg’s piece Kinah for chamber ensemble will represent Israel in the upcoming ISCM New Music Days 2013 in Vienna this November. Mr. Finberg earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance, and holds a master’s degree in composition from Mannes College. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Mr. Finberg has studied composition with Menahem Zur and Ari Ben-Shabtai in Israel, and with Robert Cuckson, Susan Botti and Samuel Adler in the United States. Avner Finberg is a member of ASCAP and the Israeli Composer’s Guild. avnerfinbergmusic.com

Gill, Jeremy_hsRecent premieres by composer Jeremy Gill include Before the Wresting Tides, a piano concerto/choral work commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club and premiered by the Mendelssohn Club, Rubinstein Prize-winning pianist Ching-Yun Hu, and the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra; Capriccio, an hour-long string quartet commissioned by Chamber Music America for the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet; and Diario dun Camiño for solo guitar, commissioned and premiered by Peter Fletcher. Upcoming commissioned works include an oboe concerto for Dallas Symphony principal Erin Hannigan and a clarinet concerto for Christopher Grymes and the Harrisburg Symphony.  Active as a conductor and pianist, Jeremy has conducted 35 world premieres featuring artists such as Lucy Shelton, Eric Owens, and Evan Hughes, and has accompanied flutist Mimi Stillman and baritone Jonathan Hays in recitals throughout the country. In 2012, University of Rochester Press published A Dance of Polar Opposites by George Rochberg, which Jeremy edited and for which he wrote the introduction. jeremytgill.com

Kim Jason 115Jason Kim is a Korean-born dramatist based in Brooklyn, New York.  His plays include New America (Naked Angels 1st Mondays), Normal, Father School, and A Modern Feeling (New School for Drama).  His screenplay Auto is currently in development with producer Kishori Rajan at Line x Line Productions (May in the Summer, Four, Gimme the Loot).  Teleplays include Epidemic and FLOTUS.  Jason is the recipient of the Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.  MFA New School for Drama, BA Columbia University.

Pinto-Correia, Andreia_hsAndreia Pinto-Correia’s recent honors include commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation, Boston Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, American Composers Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, Minnesota University, and National Bank of Portugal/Culturgest. Other highlights include an Alpert Award in the Arts/Ucross Foundation Residency Prize, a New Music USA/Music Alive composer residency with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and the European Premiere of her Tríptico with the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra under Joana Carneiro.  Born in Portugal, Andreia Pinto-Correia began her studies in her native Lisbon at the Academia de Amadores de Música. She received her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Bob Brookmeyer and Michael Gandolfi. She was a fellow of the Minnesota Composer Institute, Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals, and received residencies from MacDowell Colony, Sacatar and Valparaíso Foundations. andreiapintocorreia.com

Razaz, Gity_hsGity Razaz’s music ranges from concert solo pieces to large symphonic works. She is an active collaborator involved in projects across disciplines from modern dance to electro-acoustic soundscapes.  Gity’s music has been commissioned and performed by the renowned Italian Plurimo ensemble and Agimus Venezia, the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, The Amsterdam Cello Biennale, The Albany Symphony Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, The Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, The Sirius String Quartet, The National Ballet School of Canada, and Arte Symphonie among others. Her compositions have earned numerous national and international awards and special recognition namely from ASCAP (2009- 2012), the Libby Larsen Prize in Search for New Music Competition, The Palmer Dixon Award for the outstanding composition of the year (2010, 2012), the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, the Brian Israel Composition Prize (2007, 2008), and the Margaret Blackburn Composition Competition (2007). Her upcoming projects include a ballet commissioned by the National Ballet School of Canada and a vocal work sponsored by VIA (VisionIntoArt) for their inaugural festival in 2014. gityrazaz.com

Rubinstein, Joseph_hsJoseph N. Rubinstein grew up in Newport News, VA and currently resides in New York City. Joseph’s music is particularly concerned with dramatic narrative and storytelling, and is defined by vivid musical characterizations and striking juxtapositions. His pieces have been performed by groups and individuals including the Society for New Music, tenor Gregory Wiest, Boston Metro Opera, organist Benjamin Sheen, the Norfolk Contemporary Music Ensemble, The Columbia University Bach Society, WorldMuse, C4, the Young New Yorker’s Chorus, DETOUR New Music, and the International Vocal Arts Workshop in Croatia.  He has received degrees from Columbia University, where he studied with Joseph Dubiel and Sebastian Currier, and The Juilliard School, where he worked with Robert Beaser.  Joseph’s works have received recognition from ASCAP, the Society for New Music, and the Schola Cantorum on Hudson, among other organizations.  He is also active as a tenor in the New York City area. josephnrubinstein.com

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

osgood, stevenDuring his tenure as Artistic Director of American Opera Projects (2001 to 2008), Steven Osgood created Composers & the Voice, and conducted the world premieres of Paula Kimper and Wende Persons’ Patience & Sarah at the Lincoln Center Festival, and Janice Hamer and Mary Azrael’s Lost Childhood at the International Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv). He has also conducted premieres by Jonathan Sheffer (Blood on the Dining Room Floor), Tan Dun (Peony Pavilion), Xenakis (Oresteia), Missy Mazzoli (Song from the Uproar), Mohammed Fairouz (Sumeida’s Song), and Daron Hagen (Little Nemo in Slumberland). He has served on the Music Staff of the Metropolitan Opera since 2006.  Recent productions include Opera Memphis’ Midtown Opera Festival, Hawaii Opera Theater’s Tosca, and Chautauqua Opera’s Peter Grimes. srosgood.com

 

MUSIC DIRECTORS

Henry, Mila-Headshot-1Mila Henry is a New York-based pianist who specializes in contemporary opera, musical theater, and chamber music.  She is Resident Music Director with American Opera Projects, and has worked with OPERA America, Beth Morrison Projects, HERE, Gotham Chamber Opera, American Lyric Theater, and Center City Opera Theater.  A sought-after collaborator, she has teamed with composers Libby Larsen, Anthony Davis, Mark Adamo, Conrad Cummings, Missy Mazzoli, Mohammed Fairouz, Tarik O’Regan, Paola Prestini, Douglas Cuomo, and Daniel Felsenfeld, and has performed in the PROTOTYPE, Make Music New York, BEAT, New York Children’s Theater, Philadelphia Fringe, Queens New Music, and InsightALT festivals.  Recent and current projects include The Blind with Lincoln Center Festival (Assistant Conductor), the chamber music series Atmospheric Shift: Music of the Elements with new music ensemble Two Sides Sounding, and Kamala Sankaram’s music-theater work Thumbprint with PROTOTYPE.  Mila holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Elizabethtown College.  She lives in Brooklyn.  milahenry.com

Horsted, Kelly hsPianist Kelly Horsted, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, enjoys an active career in NYC as an accompanist, music director and vocal coach specializing in new opera, art song, and role preparation. An enthusiast of new music, Kelly begins a fourth season as a co-music director for the Composers and the Voice series at American Opera Projects in Fall 2013. Kelly’s other AOP projects have included Shiela Silver’s Beauty Intolerable, Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, Paula Kimper’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey as well as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Hershel Garfein, directed by Mark Morris. Kelly prepared the cast of Patience and Sarah for Lincoln Center Festival premiere. Kelly has collaborated with Center for Contemporary Opera’s Atelier Series, Chelsea Opera, Remarkable Theater Brigade, Opera Company of Brooklyn, Urban Arias, New Jersey Opera Theater, Friends and Enemies of New Music and at NYU’s Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Program. Kelly has taught at Hunter College, Mannes College of Music, and Operaworks. Kelly is currently a faculty member at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT. KellyHorsted.com

wickscharity 010Pianist Charity Wicks is a highly versatile musician who is at ease with a wide range of repertory, from piano solo and chamber music to contemporary opera and musical theater.  Charity has been involved with American Opera Projects throughout the last five years as a pianist and music director for a number of projects, including Semmelweis by Ray Lustig and The Golden Gate by Conrad Cummings, as well as the workshops of Stephen Schwartz’s opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon. She also was the Associate Conductor for the world premiere of Schwartz’s opera in Santa Barbara.  Charity has also worked on several Broadway musicals, including Wicked, Nice Work if You Can Get It, In the Heights, and Spring Awakening, as well as the national tours of Billy Elliot and Spring Awakening.  She holds a BM and MM from Temple University, and a DMA from The Manhattan School of Music.


ACTING INSTRUCTOR

Pat DiamondPatrick Diamond has participated in over twenty American and World premieres of both operas and plays. Collaborations: playwrights A. Rey Pamatmat (A Spare me, Thunder Above/ Deeps Below), Eric Sanders (Oblivia),  Kathryn Walat, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (The Mystery Plays, Bloody Mary); composers Gregory Spears (Paul’s Case), and Ellen Lundquist with Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer (drömseminarium); and ensemble Sybarite 5 (The Dido Project an installation of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas).  Pat was also director of the major American revivals of Moniuszko’s Halka and Wolf-Ferrari’s Le donne curiose.  Established repertoire: works by Shakespeare, Britten, Calderón, Mozart, Puccini, Janáček, Mayakovsky, and Verdi.  Companies: 2G, Working Man’s Clothes, Wolf Trap, American Opera Projects, Aspen Music Festival, as well as opera companies regionally and in France and Sweden.  Pat teaches Acting at Manhattan School of Music and runs the Yale Summer Acting Conservatory. patrickdiamond.com

IMPROV INSTRUCTOR

Terry Greiss is the co-founder, ensembleGreiss, Terry_hs actor, and executive director of NYC’s Irondale Ensemble Project. He has performed in over forty roles with the company, and is a co-creator of most of Irondale’s original works and education programs. He has conducted hundreds of workshops in public schools, prisons, theaters, professional training programs and community venues. He has been part of three Russian-American collaborations with the International Classic Center of St. Petersburg. Terry was the Founding President of the Network of Ensemble Theaters, a national consortium of artist-driven permanent theater ensembles. In April 2008 he was invited by the US Embassy to lecture and teach in Moscow and Yaroslavl and at the Golden Mask Festival. In addition to his work at Irondale, he has taught at the New School, the University of Wisconsin Drama Center and has performed at the Manhattan Theater Club. He is a graduate of the NYC High School for the Performing Arts and Sarah Lawrence College.

RESIDENT SINGERS

Lifton, Deborah_hsDeborah Lifton’s (soprano) performances include Sally Follet in William Mayer’s A Death in the Family at the Avignon Opera, and Millicent in the world premiere of Dellaira’s The Secret Agent at the Szeged National Theater, in Avignon, and at New York’s Merkin Hall. Other operatic appearances include both Susanna and Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Beth in Little Women, Ellie in Showboat, Elisa in Il Re Pastore, and Catherine in A Death in the Family, as well as title roles in Bastien und Bastienne, L’enfant et les sortileges, and Armida. Ms. Lifton has appeared with the Center for Contemporary Opera, American Opera Projects, Mercury Opera Rochester, The Natchez Opera Festival, The Ash Lawn-Highland Festival, The Aspen Music Festival, The Bronx Opera Company, the Kitchen Theater and Opera Moderne.  She holds music degrees from the University of Michigan and the Manhattan School of Music. She has taught at New York University, Mannes College of Music (prep division) Syracuse University, Cornell University and Ithaca College.  She is currently a faculty member at Western Connecticut State University, Purchase College, Ithaca College New York City Center and Summer Music Academy. deborahlifton.instantencore.com

Sampson, Kristin_HeadshotcolorKristin Sampson (soprano) opened Dicapo Opera Theatre’s 30th anniversary season as Tosca, later appearing as Violetta. During the 2010-11 season, Ms. Sampson was Annina in Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street, and covered the role of Beatrice in A View from the Bridge. Her performances as Masha in Thomas Pasatieri’s The Seagull both in New York and in Szeged, Hungary were televised internationally on Mezzo/Duna television. In the 2009-2010 season she made her debut as Nedda in Pagliacci and also received the Best Female Performer Award for the Mezzo Television Opera Competition (Armel Opera Competition) for her performance in the title role of Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. She has done title roles of Tosca, Adriana Lecouvreur, Emmeline and Šárka, Nedda (Pagliacci), Beatrice (A View from the bridge), Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), Juliette (Romeo et Juliette), Suzanne (Thérèse Raquin), Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Mimì & Musetta (La bohème), and Pamina in (Die Zauberflöte). This season Ms. Sampson makes her debut with the Opera Society of Hong Kong performing Nedda and in April, Ms. Sampson will revisit Nedda in a New York touring production with National Lyric Theatre. Upcoming in the 2013-2014 season, Ms. Sampson will return to Szeged, Hungary to perform the title roles in Tosca and Madame Butterfly. kristinsampson.com

SONY DSCRachel Calloway (mezzo-soprano) recently made her Latin American debut at the Festival Internacional Cervantino alongside the Amernet String Quartet and sang the world premiere of Gabriela Frank’s Santos.  This past season she created the title role in the first staged production of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumedia’s Song and returned to France for performances of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.  She also appeared in a portrait concert of Oliver Knussen at Miller Theater and with Alarm Will Sound singing Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger in New York and St. Louis.  This summer she makes her Lincoln Center Festival debut in Monkey Opera: Journey to the West and will also appear at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival singing works by Brahms and George Crumb.  Ms. Calloway was a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has also received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council and first prize in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts as well as two Central City Opera Young Artist Awards.  As winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, she performed Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony.  Ms. Calloway holds degrees from the Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM) and maintains an active teaching studio. rachelcalloway.com 

Armstrong, Dominic_hsIn 2012-2013, Dominic Armstrong (tenor) returned to New York City Opera to sing Prologue and Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, followed by his debuts with Carnegie Hall and Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Steve in Andre Prévin’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Recently in Chicago Opera Theatre’s Moscow, Cheryomushki, Mr. Armstrong’s 2011-2012 season also included his Memphis Opera debut as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and a return to Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival to cover Don José and perform the role of Le Remendado in Carmen. Mr. Armstrong has also performed with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, as Flavio in Norma and Borsa in Rigoletto; Chicago Opera Theatre, in the title role in La Clemenza di Tito; Deutsche Oper Berlin, as Parpignol in La Bohème, Opera Regio Torino, as the Gran Sacerdote in Idomeneo, Reverend Horace Adams in Peter Grimes, and Heinrich der Schreiber in Tannhaüser; Wexford Festival Opera, for Count Almaviva in Ghosts of Versailles; Wolf Trap Opera, as Candide in Candide and as Ulisse in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria; and Musica Viva Hong Kong for Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amoredominicarmstrong.com

williams, jorrell2013Jorell Williams (baritone) 2013 season begins as Nurse/Lawyer in the world-premiere of Anthony Davis’ opera Lear on the Second Floor at the Conrad Prebys Music Center in San Diego, Maximilian in Candide with Amarillo Opera, Buddenbrooks Buff in ​​Mozart’s​ Impressario with Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance, Frederick Douglass in Paula Kimper’s Truth with the New York International Fringe Festival, Wynton Marsalis’ U.S. tour of Abyssinian Mass with Chorale LeChateau and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Omaha Symphony.   Recent engagements include various performances with American Opera Projects, recording Celebrating the American Spirit​ with Essential Voices USA for National Public Radio, and a vocal fellowship at the Steans Music Institute ​with the Ravinia Festival.  Recently, he performed as soloist in the European premiere of Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass at the ​Barbican during the​ 2012 Olympics in London. He also had the honor to perform under the leadership of Damien Sneed with the Chorale Le Chateau of New York in “A Celebration of America” at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the occasion of the first Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.  Jorell is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. jorellmwilliams.com

Burns, Matt_hs1Matthew Burns’ (bass-baritone) 2012-13 engagements include soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra;  Messiah with Richmond Symphony; Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass and Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass with New York’s New Choral Society; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Dayton Opera; the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro in a return to Virginia Opera; his debut with Palm Beach Opera as Alidoro in La Cenerentola, and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Hubicka and Otec in Smetana’s The Kiss. Recent successes include the title role in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Southwest; Kuno in Der Freischutz with Macau International Music Festival; the Poet in Glass’ Orphée with Virginia Opera; George in Of Mice and Men with Utah Opera; Messiah with Dallas Symphony; and Monterone in Rigoletto, also Manager in The Mighty Casey with Lake George Opera. He has sung many roles in many seasons with New York City Opera.

 

ARTISTIC CHAIRS

Mark CampbellMark Campbell has collaborated with many leading composers of this generation, including Mark Adamo, William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Martin Hennessy, Paul Moravec, John Musto, Kevin Puts, Richard Peaslee and Michael Torke. His most successful operas include Volpone, Later the Same Evening, Bastianello/Lucrezia, Rappahannock County, and Silent Night. Most recently, Silent Night was honored with the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Volpone received a 2010 Grammy® nomination for best Classical Recording. He also received the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two RIchard Rodgers Awards and a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. As a lyricist, Mark penned all of the lyrics for Songs from an Unmade Bed, a theatrical song cycle with music by 18 composers including Jake Heggie and Duncan Sheik. Other musicals for which he has written lyrics include: And the Curtain Rises, The Audience, Splendora, Akin, and Light Shall Lift Them. Recordings of Mark’s works include the Grammy®-nominated Volpone, (Wolf Trap Recordings), Later the Same Evening (Albany Records), Bastianello/Lucrezia (Bridge Classical) and Songs from an Unmade Bed (Sh-k-Boom Records). Songs from an Unmade Bed and Silent Night are also published by Bill Holab Music. markcampbellwords.com

Hagen DaronAll eight of Daron Hagen’s major operas are currently in production or revival somewhere in the U.S., Europe, or Asia. His orchestral, chamber, and song catalogues are frequently programmed internationally. Mr. Hagen’s activities include stage direction, conducting; and engagements as a collaborative pianist, artistic director, writer, and librettist. He has collaborated with distinguished musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, JoAnn Falletta, Gary Graffman, Nathan Gunn, Jaime Laredo, David Alan Miller, Sharon Robinson, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Spano, among others. His work has been widely commissioned and performed by most of North America’s major musical institutions, and numerous institutions abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Seattle Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Curtis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Swan (UK), Seattle Opera, Opera Theater of Ireland, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing), and Royal Albert Hall.  A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, he has taught at Bard College, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Princeton Atelier, and fulfilled numerous composer-in-residencies around the U.S. A complete list of Mr. Hagen’s works may be found at his website daronhagen.com.

Composer of OperasJake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, To Hell and Back, For a Look or a Touch, Another Sunrise, and At the Statue of Venus. He has also composed more than 250 songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works. His songs, song cycles and operas are championed internationally by some of the most celebrated singers of our time, including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Nathan Gunn, Susan Graham, Ben Heppner, Jonathan Lemalu, Jay Hunter Morris, Patti LuPone, Robert Orth, Kiri Te Kanawa, Morgan Smith, Frederica von Stade, Talise Trevigne, and Bryn Terfel, to name a few. The operas — most of them created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer — have been produced internationally on five continents. Since its San Francisco premiere in 2000, Dead Man Walking has received more than 200 international performances. Moby-Dick will be telecast on Great Performances in the fall of 2013 and is set to receive its East Coast premiere in February 2014 by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Since its 2010 world premiere at The Dallas Opera, Moby-Dick has also been produced by San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, State Opera of South Australia, and Calgary Opera. jakeheggie.com

Libby LarsenLibby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers.   She has created a catalogue of over 500 works spanning virtually  every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CDs of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory. As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony. libbylarsen.com

Musto JohnJohn Musto‘s playing is featured in song recitals, chamber music, concertos, and solo works. He has seen the production of four new operas, all with libretti by Mark Campbell. Volpone, was commissioned and presented by Wolf Trap Opera in 2004, and again in a new production in 2007. The recording of this production was nominated for a 2010 Grammy award.  In November of 2007, Later the Same Evening was given at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the University of Maryland Opera Theater, December 2008 at the Manhattan School of Music and at Glimmerglass Festival in July 2011.  Bastianello, (paired with William Bolcom’s Lucrezia) was commissioned to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the New York Festival of Song, presented in three New York performances and in a second production in the summer of 2008 at the Moab Music Festival in Utah.  The most recent, The Inspector, had its premiere at Wolf Trap Opera in April 2011, and was presented at Boston Lyric Opera in April of 2012.  He has been composer-in-residence at the Mannes College of Music, a visiting professor at Brooklyn College, and is a frequent guest lecturer at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. johnmusto.com

picker tobias2005Tobias Picker has had works commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the Helsinki Philharmonic. His first opera, Emmeline, saw its premiere at the Santa Fe Opera in 1996, and his fourth opera, An American Tragedy, was commissioned by and premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005. His adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Opera, and his Thérèse Raquin was commissioned by The Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, and Opera de Montreal.  Mr. Picker has received numerous awards and prizes, including a Charles Ives Scholarship as well as a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and was elected in 2012 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has served as composer-in-residence of the Houston Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival. Picker’s symphonic music has been commissioned and performed by the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Picker is currently completing his fifth opera, Dolores Claiborne, set to premiere at San Francisco Opera on September 15, 2013. Tobias Picker’s music is published exclusively by Schott Music. tobiaspicker.com

schwartz stephenStephen Schwartz, the current president of the Dramatists Guild, wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hits Wicked and Pippin, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, and Children of Eden. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and writing the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, “Defying Gravity,” has recently been released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies. stephenschwartz.com.

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS

For 25 years, AOP (American Opera Projects) has been creating, developing and presenting new American opera and music theatre projects. AOP has produced over 20 world premiere operas including Kimper/Persons’ Patience & Sarah (1998), Stefan Weisman’s Darkling (2006), Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking (2008), and Phil Kline’s Out Cold (2012), part of BAM’s 30th Next Wave Festival. AOP-developed projects include Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon (New York City Opera, 2011), Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls (Fort Worth Opera, 2010), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness (Royal Opera House (UK), 2011), and Jack Perla’s Love/Hate (ODC Theater and San Francisco Opera, 2012).  In 2013: World Premiere co-production of Lera Auerbach’s The Blind at Lincoln Center Festival 2013. Premieres of AOP-developed work: Gregory Spears’s Paul’s Case (UrbanArias), Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Present Music, Milwaukee), Lee Hoiby’s This Is the Rill Speaking (Opera Memphis). operaprojects.org


Applications now available for Composers & The Voice 2013-14

March 22, 2013

BROOKLYN’S AOP TO SELECT COMPOSERS, LIBRETTISTS FOR FREE TRAINING IN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF OPERA

APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE FOR 7th SEASON OF
“COMPOSERS & THE VOICE” PROGRAM BEGINNING IN FALL 2013

BROOKLYN, NY – American Opera Projects (AOP) announces the return of its  Composers & the Voice program for its 2013-14 season. Created and led by Composers & the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood, six composers or composer/librettist teams will be selected for a year-long fellowship, working with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team.  Applications and additional information can be found at AOP’s website www.operaprojects.org. The deadline for applications is May 17, 2013.  All sessions will be at AOP’s home base in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Composers & the Voice PictureThe primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and opera stage.  The workshop sessions between September 2013 and April 2014, include composition of solo works for six voice types (coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and bass) and “Skill-Building Sessions” for composers and librettists in acting, improv games, and libretto development, providing an in-depth and firsthand knowledge of how singers build characters, act in scenes and sing text.

“I can think of no better forum for a composer with a passion for learning the traditions of so-called progressive American opera theater than AOP’s program,” said opera composer and guest C&V instructor Daron Hagen.

Previous seasons of Composers & the Voice have featured guest lectures from notable artists such as composer Mark Adamo (Little Women, Lysistrata) and librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, Later The Same Evening).  Past “Composer Chairs,” sponsorships named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice, have included Mr. Adamo and composers John Corigliano, Tan Dun, Daron Hagen, John Musto, Richard Peaslee, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, Stephen Schwartz, and the late Lee Hoiby.

At the end of the program, AOP will present the results of the participants’ work in public performances – First Glimpse, a concert of songs in Spring 2014, and Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes in Fall 2014.  One of these operas-in-progress will be selected to receive a staged reading at Manhattan School of Music in Spring 2015. AOP has an eight-year relationship with Manhattan School of Music Opera Studies Program, in which students work alongside the composer and librettist and other professionals provided by AOP.

Since launching in 2002, C&V has fostered the development of 37 composers & librettists. Alumni works that went through AOP’s opera development program and continued to a world premiere include Love/Hate (ODC/San Francisco Opera 2012, Jack Perla), Paul’s Case (UrbanArias 2013, Gregory Spears), and the Off-Broadway and European tour of Darkling (2006-07, Stefan Weisman). Additional AOP-developed works from C&V alumni include Decoration (Mikael Karlsson), The Summer King (Daniel Sonenberg), The Golden Gate (Conrad Cummings), Dream President (Jennifer Griffith), Henry’s Wife (Randall Eng), and Semmelweis (Raymond J. Lustig). Visit www.operaprojects.org/composers_voice

Past AOP Composers & the Voice fellows have received grants and honors from the following organizations: Aaron Copland Fund for Music, ASCAP, BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, OPERA America, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, the Fulbright Foundation, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Douglas Moore Fellowship, Tapestry New Opera Works, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, New Dramatists, and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation.

During his tenure as Artistic Director of American Opera Projects (2001 to 2008), Steven Osgood created Composers & the Voice, and conducted the world premieres of Paula Kimper and Wende Persons’ Patience & Sarah at the Lincoln Center Festival, and Janice Hamer and Mary Azrael’s Lost Childhood at the International Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv). He has also conducted premieres by Jonathan Sheffer (Blood on the Dining Room Floor), Tan Dun (Peony Pavilion), Xenakis (Oresteia), Missy Mazzoli (Song from the Uproar), Mohammed Fairouz (Sumeida’s Song), and Daron Hagen (Little Nemo in Slumberland). He has served on the Music Staff of the Metropolitan Opera since 2006.  Upcoming productions include Opera Memphis’ Midtown Opera Festival, Hawaii Opera Theater’s Tosca, and Chautauqua Opera’s Peter Grimes.

Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

DOWNLOAD 2013-14 COMPOSER APPLICATION

DOWNLOAD 2013-14 COMPOSER/LIBRETTIST TEAM APPLICATION

MORE INFO AND PRESS MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT:
www.operaprojects.org

March 20, 2013


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