Finalist teams were selected by an independent panel consisting of Oana Botez, costume designer; Wendall K. Harrington, projection designer; Anna Labykina, production and technical director, Boston Lyric Opera; Allen Moyer, scenic and costume designer; Julia Noulin-Mérat, set designer and associate producer, Boston Lyric Opera; and Chas Rader-Shieber, stage director. As opera is an intrinsically collaborative art form, the projects chosen were selected not only because they demonstrate the requisite creativity and skill, but because they display true collaboration and collective passion.
Each finalist team will be given $2,000 to be used toward further research and the production of more comprehensive renderings and models. The teams will be mentored by one of the selection panelists as they prepare the final presentation of their designs. Up to two representatives from each team will be provided with transportation, lodging and registration to attend Opera Conference 2019 in San Francisco, where they will present their proposals to more than 100 opera producers at a special session that will also be live streamed. Over the next two years, teams will also have their designs featured in sixth-month rotating exhibitions at OPERA America’s National Opera Center in New York.
“The conversations we had with conference attendees and fellow qualifying teams were invaluable, and we were fortunate enough to meet likeminded collaborators, similarly invested in reimagining canonic operas,” stated director Shannon Knox, a 2017 Director-Designer Showcase finalist, about her experience at Opera Conference 2017. “What has been most affecting as a director was the amazing opportunity to pull together an all-female team of talented, intelligent collaborators who want to experiment with ways to evolve opera as an art form,” she continued.
Following their Showcase participation, members of the 2015 and 2017 finalist teams have received engagements with Austin Opera, Central City Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Fargo Moorhead Opera, Heartbeat Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, Madison Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, National Sawdust, Opera Columbus, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Memphis, Opera Naples, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera, Skylight Music Theatre, Tulsa Opera, Urban Arias and Washington National Opera.
“OPERA America is uniquely positioned as the field’s convener and connector to advance the careers of the most talented creative artists,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase enables us to support the career development of stage directors and designers and, through them, further the artistic development of the art form. We are profoundly grateful to the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund for its continued support of this program.”
For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.
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