OPERA America Announces Recipients of Opera Grants for Female Composers: Commissioning Grants
Supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
A Total of $100,000 Awarded for Six Operas
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, is pleased to announce the first recipients of Commissioning Grants from the Opera Grants for Female Composers program, made possible through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. These grants help support the commissioning of works by talented women composing for the stages of OPERA America Professional Company Members.
The Opera Grants for Female Composers program, launched in December 2013, is implemented in two-year cycles. The focus of the program alternates between Discovery Grants, in which $100,000 is awarded directly to composers, and Commissioning Grants, which are given to opera companies. This year’s Commissioning Grants are the first to be awarded.
A total of $100,000 was awarded to six companies:
- American Opera Projects (Brooklyn, NY) for To Kill That Bird by Wang Jie;
- Arizona Opera (Phoenix and Tucson, AZ) for The Last Dream of Frida and Diego by Gabriela Lena Frank;
- Beth Morrison Projects (Brooklyn, NY) for Winter’s Child by Ellen Reid;
- The Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, NY) for Wilde Tales by Laura Karpman;
- The Industry (Los Angeles, CA) for the selection within HOPSCOTCH by Ellen Reid; and
- Opera Philadelphia for Breaking the Waves by Missy Mazzoli.
OPERA America has awarded nearly $13 million over the past 30 years to Professional Company Members in support of new American operas. Fewer than five percent of the organization’s grants supporting repertoire development have been awarded to works by female composers. Opera Grants for Female Composers provide support for the development of new operas by women, both directly to individual composers and to opera companies producing their work, advancing the important objective to increase diversity across the field.
“OPERA America is uniquely positioned as the field’s convener and connector to advance the careers of the most talented creative artists,” declared Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “The Opera Grants for Female Composers program enables us to identify and support the development of new works by emerging and established female composers. By helping to increase the quality and quantity of works by women, we will broaden and deepen the existing opera repertoire with exciting new works. We are grateful to the Toulmin Foundation for enabling us to continue this important work.”
The independent adjudication panelists for the Commissioning Grants included director/librettist Kenneth Cazan, librettist Donna Di Novelli, composer Rinde Eckert, soprano Elizabeth Futral and conductor/coach Timothy Long.
Information for the second round of Commissioning Grant applications will be announced later in 2015.