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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Stages of Developing a New Work
John Glover, Beth Greenberg, John Musto, Jim Schaeffer
Making Connections

The road to creating a new opera is paved with questions. Who should be on the creative team? How do you know when a work is ready for the next stage of development? When do you let the public hear it? At this session, hear from artists and administrators at the forefront of contemporary opera and gain insight into how new works are created, developed and produced.

About the Author:

John Glover has composed music for theater, opera and the concert hall. Commissions from organizations and musicians including Houston Grand Opera, American Conservatory Theater (War Music), the Five Boroughs Music Festival and violist Liuh-wen Ting (Life-Cycles) have distinguished him as an emerging voice in contemporary music. Glover has received numerous awards, fellowships and grants for his music from organizations, including Meet the Composer, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Thornton School of Music at USC and the American Music Center. Current projects include a one-act opera, Our Basic Nature, being developed by American Opera Projects and Nautilus Music Theater. He received his undergraduate training in composition with a focus in saxophone performance from Indiana University and his Master’s degree in composition from the University of Southern California. Glover also writes notes, articles and online courses for organizations such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Glimmerglass Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Carnegie Hall and OPERA America. He currently lives in New York City where he co-curates the music/art series NewYorksoundCircuit at the Brecht Forum, a grass-roots organization dedicated to premiering new works and finding the intersections between music and other art forms.


Stage director Beth Greenberg is best known for her work at New York City Opera. For the Lincoln Center company, she's directed original mainstage productions of Tales of Hoffmann and Turandot, and revivals including Der Rosenkavalier, Tosca, La traviata, Intermezzo and La bohème. Across the river, aboard an oil tanker moored in Red Hook, Brooklyn, she recently directed the site-specific Il tabarro. Greenberg has earned a reputation for her collaborations with living American composers. She works on all phases of a new show's development from early libretto and workshop readings to fully-staged productions. Her colleagues include Mark Adamo, Gordon Beeferman, John Eaton, Elliot Goldenthal and Jorge Martin. Upcoming is the professional world premiere of Lori Laitman's The Scarlet Letter for Opera Colorado. She earned a Fulbright to Germany where she apprenticed with Gotz Friedrich at Berlin's Deutsche Oper. As an educator, she's been a mentor director for the SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers) Foundation, and has taught master classes at Mannes and Malibu's SongFest. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music and Brooklyn College.


Nico Muhly’s compositions have been played by such ensembles as eighth blackbird, the Britten Sinfonia, the Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic, and sung by soloists including David Daniels, Mark Padmore and Jessica Rivera. In addition to numerous recordings of his own music (available on Decca and Bedroom Community Records), he has collaborated on projects with Antony and the Johnsons, Björk, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Grizzly Bear, Jónsi of Sigur Rós and Teitur Lassen. His first opera, Two Boys, premiered at the English National Opera in June 2011. Dark Sisters, commissioned by Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group and Opera Company of Philadelphia, will premiere in November 2011 in New York City.


In 2008, the Center for Contemporary Opera board appointed Jim Schaeffer as general director. Schaeffer possesses a unique combination of skills as a scholar in contemporary music, a professor, and a businessman and management expert. He retired from the Air Force after a career in a variety of flying, logistics and command assignments. In his last assignment, he served as the NATO liaison officer during the siege of Sarajevo. Following retirement, Schaeffer has had a varied career as the former executive director of Long Leaf Opera in North Carolina, where he brought that company to national acclaim after only three years; as the president of Spectron Electronics in Los Angeles; and an adjunct professor of management at North Carolina Wesleyan College, teaching in their evening adult degree completion program for the past 12 years. He is also a former professional bassoonist, holding principal chairs of orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. In his seven years working in opera, he has produced over 30 fully staged works, all but one from American.

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One

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The building is on the same block as the train stop.

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