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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.
The Opera Fund

Photo courtesey of San Francisco Opera; Dr. Atomic; photo by Terrence McCarthy
Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase Finalists
Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
A Flowering Tree
Awardee: Austin McCormick
Composer: John Adams
Librettist: Peter Sellars
Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Arjuna's Dilemma
Awardee: Gian Marco Lo Forte
Composer: Douglas Cuomo
Librettist: Text from the Bhagavad Gita
Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Dead Man Walking
Awardee: Justin Johnson
Composer: Jake Heggie
Librettist: Terrence McNally
Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Hydrogen Jukebox
Awardee: Rafael Gallegos
Composer: Philip Glass
Librettist: Allen Ginsberg

The Opera Fund, in conjunction with's Canadian Opera Creation Fund, provides technical and financial support to OPERA America Professional Company Members and others as part of a North American effort to enhance the quality, quantity and creativity of new opera and music-theater.

The goals of the program are to:
  • Enhance the vitality of opera and music-theater in North America through the creation and production of new works
  • Develop a deeper and broader appreciation on the part of the general public for opera and music-theater companies
  • Encourage creative artists who will write and interpret new works

Award Categories
1. Repertoire Development
Repertoire Development assists OPERA America Professional Company Members (PCMs) and their partners in meeting the special costs incurred by developing and producing new North American opera and music-theater. There is a strong emphasis on consortia though sole applicant support is also available.

Development Awards allow the creators and/or producers to assess and refine a work in progress. The primary intent of this award is to provide financial assistance for the development of the work and the creative process, although some proposed projects may also serve an audience development purpose. The award may be used to offset creative fees or other costs associated with the development of a new work, including but not limited to, a lab production, a workshop, a reading or a revision.

Award range: Up to $50,000 for Consortium support; up to $25,000 for Sole Applicant support

2. Audience Development
Audience Development offers financial assistance to OPERA America Professional Company Members (PCMs) and their partners for planning and implementing specific activities that strengthen relationships between audiences, the art form and the company. Proposed activities must be undertaken in conjunction with the creation and/or production of a new work or existing American work. Two types of Audience Development Awards are available. Design Awards offer support for the planning of a project and Project Awards assist in the implementation of the proposed projects.

Award range: Up to $7,500 for Design Awards; and Up to $30,000 for Project Awards.

3. Director-Designer Showcase
As part of a continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists, OPERA America is launching a bi-annual Director-Designer Showcase under the auspices of The Opera Fund. The Showcase will offer direct benefits to promising stage directors and designers seeking to break into the world of opera. It is intended to bring new talent to the forefront and connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to hire them.

The Opera Fund, launched by The National Endowment for the Arts, is funded by:
  • The Helen F. Whitaker Fund
  • Lee Day Gillespie
  • Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • The Canada Council for the Arts
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The James S. and John L. Knight Foundation
  • The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation

Staff Contact Information
For more information, please contact Edmundo Quinones at 646-699-5239 or

This search scans titles, composers, librettists and work synopses in the entire directory.

The Opera Fund Submission Guidelines
Click here to view 2011-2012 grant opportunities.

Tips for Preparing Your Application
In addition to providing financial support through The Opera Fund and Canadian Opera Creation Program, OPERA America and, respectively, offer technical support to companies as they prepare their applications. Below you will find articles which address characteristics of successful application materials, as identified by award adjudicators.

Articles that are in PDF format can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free software download available from

The Opera Fund Awardees
Repertoire Development
Awardee: Musical Traditions/Paul Dresher Ensemble
Composer: Erling Wold
Librettist: Erling Wold
Repertoire Development
Dark Sisters
Awardee: Opera Company of Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group
Composer: Nico Muhly
Librettist: Stephen Karam
Repertoire Development
Enemies, a Love Story
Awardee: Kentucky Opera
Composer: Ben Moore
Librettist: Nahma Sandrow
Repertoire Development
Awardee: Houston Grand Opera
Composer: Christopher Theofanidis
Librettist: Patrick Summers
Repertoire Development
Silent Night
Awardee: Minnesota Opera
Composer: Kevin Puts
Librettist: Mark Campbell
Repertoire Development
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Awardee: Minnesota Opera
Composer: Ricky Ian Gordon
Librettist: Michael Korie
Repertoire Development
Awardee: Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Composer: Terence Blanchard
Librettist: Michael Cristofer

Canadian Opera Creation Fund Awardees
To learn more about the Canadian Opera Creation Fund, please visit

Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Development
Awardee: Chants Libres
Composer: Zack Settel
Librettist: Yan Muckle
Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Partnership
Comedic Opera
Awardee: Calgary Opera and Vancouver Opera
Composer: Peter Tiefenbach
Librettist: Bill Richardson
Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Development
Awardee: Canadian Opera Company
Composer: James Rolfe
Librettist: Anna Chatterton
Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Production
Mary's Wedding
Awardee: Pacific Opera Victoria
Composer: Andrew MacDonald
Librettist: Stephen Massicotte
Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Partnership
M'Dea Undone
Awardee: Tapestry New Opera Works
Composer: John Gorrell Harris
Librettist: Marjorie Chan
Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Development
Awardee: Soundstreams Canada
Composer: Juliet Palmer
Librettist: Anna Chatterton
Canadian Opera Creation Fund: Production
Awardee: Queen of Puddings Music
Composer: Ana Sokolovic
Librettist: Ana Sokolovic

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.