OPERA America Announces Opera Fund Director-Designer Showcase Finalists
Finalists to Present Proposals at Opera Conference 2009
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, announces that four finalist teams have been chosen for its first Director-Designer Showcase.
As part of a continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists, the bi-annual Director-Designer Showcase seeks to benefit promising stage directors and designers interested in breaking into the world of opera. It is intended to bring new talent to the forefront and connect promising artists with those who are in a position to hire them. To be administered as part of OPERA America's Opera Fund, the inaugural Director-Designer Showcase is supported by a special grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Working from a diverse list of American operas, applicants were asked to complete a production concept, including an explanation of the staging; ideas and initial research for scenery, props and costumes; required personnel; and suggestions for adaptations and/or editing, if any. A total of 41 director-driven teams submitted proposals for consideration; four of these were selected as finalists.
Each finalist team will be given $1,000 to be used toward the production of renderings and models. Up to two representatives from each finalist team will be flown to OPERA America's Opera Conference 2009 in Houston to present their proposals to general and artistic directors at a special session.
"The Director-Designer Showcase supports talented emerging artists by providing them with unparalleled access at the Opera Conference to the field's decision-makers," stated Marc A. Scorca, president & CEO of OPERA America. "The production proposals displayed the remarkable range of talent and creativity of these young directors and designers. By highlighting these artists at the Showcase, OPERA America is proud to assist in furthering their careers."
The four finalist teams were selected by a panel that included Peter Dean Beck, designer; John Duykers, singer/teacher; Christopher Mattaliano, stage director/general director of Portland Opera; Diane Paulus, stage director and Darren K. Woods, general director of Fort Worth Opera.
"I was astounded at the level of preparation and creativity of the applicants," declared Mr. Woods. "Most all of them had done mounds of research and then translated them into incredible images and drawings. I think the winning teams' projects could go directly from the page to the stage — they were that good."