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 and the nation’s leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce the latest recipients of Commissioning Grants from the Opera Grants for Female Composers program, made possible through the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
A total of $100,000 was awarded to the following companies in support of six projects:
- Houston Grand Opera for Home of My Ancestors by Nkeiru Okoye;
- Minnesota Opera (Minneapolis, MN) for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Paola Prestini;
- Opera Parallèle (San Francisco, CA) for Today It Rains by Laura Kaminsky;
- Sarasota Opera for Rootabaga Country by Rachel J. Peters;
- Seattle Opera for A Thousand Splendid Suns by Sheila Silver; and
- Washington National Opera (Washington, D.C.) for Proving Up by Missy Mazzoli in a consortium with Opera Omaha and Miller Theater at Columbia University (New York, NY).
These grants, which were awarded by an independent adjudication panel, provide funds that cover up to 50 percent of each composer’s commissioning fee. (See below for descriptions of the funded works.)
Over the past 30 years, OPERA America has awarded $13 million to its Professional Company Members in support of new American operas. Until the launch of Opera Grants for Female Composers in 2013, fewer than five percent of the organization’s grants for repertoire development had been awarded to works by female composers.
Opera Grants for Female Composers seek to promote the development of works by women, as well as raise the visibility of women writing for the operatic medium and increase diversity across the field. The program consists of two granting components: Commissioning Grants of up to $50,000 that are awarded to opera companies for commissions by female composers, and Discovery Grants of up to $15,000 that are awarded directly to female composers to advance new works. Since its inception, the program has awarded a total of $700,000 to opera companies and composers.
“Thanks to the continued support of the Toulmin Foundation, works by women are gaining traction on stages across North America,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “This year, we received more applications for Commissioning Grants than ever before — a testament to our members’ investment in works by women — and among the funded works, three are by composers who previously received Discovery Grants. We are grateful to the Toulmin Foundation for enabling us to continue this important work, which has brought noteworthy composers to the forefront and has enlivened our operatic repertoire with new works.”
The adjudication panel for this round of Commissioning Grants consisted of William Burden, tenor; Tyson Deaton, conductor; Michael Korie, librettist; Rita Shapiro, former executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra; and Du Yun, composer.
The program’s next round of awards will be Discovery Grants, for which applications will open on October 5, 2017. Applications for the next round of Commissioning Grants will open on March 1, 2018. Visit operaamerica.org/Grants for more information.