OPERA America Awards $100,000 in Discovery Grants to Support Seven New Works by Women Composers
Supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
OPERA America is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Discovery Grants from the Opera Grants for Women Composers program. These composers will receive a total of $100,000 to support development activities of seven new theatrical works for the trained voice and instrumental ensemble. Opera Grants for Women Composers promote the development of new works by women and raise the visibility of women writing operas. The grants are made possible through the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
This year’s recipients are:
- Gelsey Bell for mɔːnɪŋ
- Christina Campanella for The Visitation
- Asako Hirabayashi for Hebi-onna (Snake Woman)
- Angel Lam for Lost Shanghai
- Shuying Li for When the Purple Mountains Burn
- Nicole Paris and Katherine Skovira for ?this is my Body
- Bora Yoon for ‘아가씨’ Handmaiden [Mademoiselle]
See below for profiles of the composers and their works.
In addition to the cash awards, OPERA America invites and provides travel support for all grant recipients to attend its annual Opera Conference and New Works Forum, enabling them to develop relationships with potential creative partners and producers. Grant recipients also receive mentorship on the artistic and business aspects of new work development.
Grantees were selected from an applicant pool of 57 composers by a panel of industry leaders consisting of Kelvin Chan, general director, Vital Opera; Mila Henry, artistic director, The American Opera Project; Laura Kaminsky, composer; Sarah Meyers, stage director; Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, librettist; Damien Sneed, composer and conductor; and Karim Sulayman, tenor.
“Until the launch of Opera Grants for Women Composers in 2013, fewer than five percent of the organization’s grants for repertoire development had been awarded to works by women composers,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Thanks to the generosity of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and initiatives like the Discovery Grants, we’ve been able to increase and diversify the voices, perspectives, and stories that comprise the American repertoire.”
OPERA America is committed to increasing gender parity across the field through multiple initiatives. These include the Opera Grants for Women Composers program’s Discovery Grants and Commissioning Grants, Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors (generously supported by the Marineau Family Foundation), the Mentorship Program for Women Administrators, and the Women’s Opera Network.
Since the inception of its granting programs, OPERA America has awarded over $20 million to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, companies, and administrators. Learn more at operaamerica.org/Grants.