Opera America Awards IDEA Opera Grants to Three Projects by Alan Chan, Victoria Moy, Bonita Oliver, and Olivia Shortt
Generously supported by the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation.
OPERA America is pleased to announce the next cycle of IDEA Opera Grants (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), a program that supports composers and librettists who identify as Arab, Asian, Black, Latinx, Native American, and/or Pacific Islander in the development of new operatic works and the advancement of their careers in the opera industry.
The 2023 winning creators and projects are:
- Alan Chan, composer, and Victoria Moy, librettist, for Immortal Labia
- Bonita Oliver, composer/librettist, for AR Arias: Sojourner Truth
- Olivia Shortt, composer/librettist, for The Museum of the Lost and Found: gaakaazootaadiwag
(See below for additional information about the artists and their works.)
The creator (or creators) of each project receives a prize of $18,000 to support the production of a workshop, reading, or other performance-based event and a high-quality video of the work in development. The artists and their works will be introduced to field leaders at OPERA America’s New Works Forum and Opera Conference, as well as in Opera America Magazine.
IDEA Opera Grants were established in 2019 and have been generously supported by the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, a family foundation committed to promoting equal rights and social justice through education, music, and the law.
“We’re proud to be embarking on the second three-year cycle of IDEA grants,” stated Cerise Jacobs, president of the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation. “This cycle, we’re funding an additional grantee — three in total — in response to the overwhelming support we’ve had from panelists and applicants. What a joy to see the IDEA Grants playing such a seminal role in uplifting the stories and voices of brilliant artists of color.”
“The development of new works that reflect the diversity of the nation is vital to the future of American opera, and OPERA America is committed to supporting artists who are new to the field to help them tell those stories,” remarked Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “OPERA America is grateful to the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation for its continued commitment to promoting social justice through the arts.”
The 2023 grantees were selected from 42 applicants by an independent panel of industry experts consisting of Jen Aylmer, soprano and associate professor of voice, Carnegie Mellon University; Cerise Jacobs, Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation; Damon Davis, composer and recipient of a 2020 IDEA Opera Grant; Jane Hulburt, director of artistic operations, Cincinnati Opera; Lauren Ishida, director, promotion, Schott Music Corp | EAMDC; Diana Solomon-Glover, librettist and recipient of a 2022 IDEA Opera Grant; and Julie Tucker, conductor.
IDEA Opera Grants are complemented by the IDEA Opera Residencies program, supported by the Katherine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund of The Scherman Foundation, to promote the early work in opera by creative artists who are residents of New York City and who identify as Arab, Asian, Black, Latinx, Native American, and/or Pacific Islander. These programs join other grants that are designed to broaden and diversify the contemporary American opera repertoire. 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 and producers.
Applications for the next round of IDEA Opera Grants will open in fall 2023. More information about OPERA America’s grant programs is available at operaamerica.org/Grants.