OPERA America Announces Recipients of Opera Grants for Female Composers: Discovery Grants
Supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
Eight Composers Awarded Discovery Grants Totaling $100,000
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 Discovery Grants from the Opera Grants for Female Composers program, made possible through the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
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: Discovery Grants of up to $15,000 that are awarded directly to female composers to advance new works; and Commissioning Grants of up to $50,000 that are awarded to opera companies for commissions by female composers. Since its inception, the program has awarded a total of $800,000 to opera companies and composers.
The most recent round of Discovery Grants attracted 47 applicants, and an independent adjudication panel selected eight composers to receive a total of $100,000 to support operas in development. The recipients are:
- Lisa DeSpain for That Hell-Bound Train
- Alexa Dexa for Be a Doll
- Germaine Franco for ¡La Capitana!
- Elizabeth Kelly for Losing Her Voice
- Leanna Kirchoff for Friday After Friday
- Veronika Krausas for Ghost Opera
- Julia Meinwald for REB+VoDKa+ME
- Liza Seigido for Cyborgs Are Dancing
These grants, the only ones awarded by OPERA America directly to individual artists, provide the composers with financial assistance to advance and promote their operas. (See below for descriptions of the supported projects.)
Over the past 30 years, OPERA America has awarded $13 million to its Professional Company Members in support of new American operas. However, 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 is experiencing a groundswell of support for gender parity across all sectors of the industry, both artistic and administrative, and we are proud to be a part of that movement through Opera Grants for Female Composers,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Through the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, these grants have invigorated our art form with a wealth of new works that display the extraordinary skill of their composers, as well as a diverse range of artistic sensibilities.”
The independent adjudication panelists for the Discovery Grants were Michael Ching, composer; Lillian Groag, director; Sari Gruber, soprano; Justina Lee, pianist and coach; Vanessa Rose, executive and fundraising consultant; and Gene Scheer, librettist.
Information about the next round of Discovery Grants will be available in October 2018.
Applications for Commissioning Grants are currently open, and Professional Company Members may submit intents to apply by April 10, 2018.