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Video Published: 16 Dec 2021

In Conversation with Holiday Opera Composers

Every winter brings a variety of works to stages across the country that express the holiday spirit — from performances of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol to special adaptations of classic operas and new works by some of today’s most important composers and librettists. What makes these works special to us? What elements are essential to successful holiday operas? What stories inspire composers, and how do they adapt iconic movies and books for the opera house? Five leading composers discuss the challenges and special pleasures of creating works for this special season.


Mark Adamo, composer, Becoming Santa Claus
Ricky Ian Gordon, composer, The House Without a Christmas Tree
Jake Heggie, composer, It's a Wonderful Life
Jeanine Tesori, composer, The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
Joel Thompson, composer, The Snowy Day
Marc A. Scorca, moderator, OPERA America President/CEO

This event is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.