Creators in Concert: OPERA America’s IDEA Opera Resident Artists
Thursday, April 11, 2024 | 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET
In-Person at OPERA America’s National Opera Center
330 Seventh Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY
Enjoy a showcase of new work by OPERA America’s IDEA Opera Resident Artists: composers Laura Jobin-Acosta, Bonita Oliver, Yosvany Terry, and Qian Yi. OPERA America’s IDEA Opera Residencies offered creators of color in New York City an opportunity to explore the art form with mentorship, career support, and rehearsal space at the National Opera Center. Celebrate the work of these artists as they present highlights from their grant-winning projects and works in development.
Attendees are invited to a casual reception with the guest following the event.
Laura Jobin-Acosta, composer
Laura Jobin-Acosta is a multicultural composer and soprano with a focus on vocal music. She is a participant in Washington National Opera’s 2023–2024 American Opera Initiative (AOI) and was a finalist in Beth Morrison Project’s BMP: Next Gen in 2021. Her work has recently been commissioned by Brick Church, Ensemble Pi, Canterbury Choral Society, and Five Boroughs Music Festival. In addition to her commissioned work-in-progress for Washington National Opera’s AOI, Jobin’s current opera projects are The Curious Lady of Lyme Regis, a short opera/opera-film about paleontologist Mary Anning, and La Alcaldesa, a full-length opera about Puerto Rico's Felisa Rincón de Gautier or “Doña Fela,” the first woman to be elected as mayor of a capital city in the Americas. Her other large works include The Seven Last Words of Christ, a chamber oratorio for soloists and choir, and the upcoming premiere of Breaking the Barrier, a setting of poems by Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay for choir, soloists, organ, and jazz instruments.
Jobin-Acosta received a 2021 IDEA Opera Residency from OPERA America.
Bonita Oliver, composer
Bonita Oliver is a multidisciplinary artist and improviser. She creates deeply emotional, body-in-space concept art using voice, music, environmental soundscapes, and movement — driven by a motivation to heal personal and ancestral trauma in order to make way for discovery and connection. Her mission is to engage the community through reexaminations of history, ritual, co-creation, facilitation, and activism.
Oliver’s creative process is in the moment and responds to stimuli — be it internal or external — through embodiment and interaction. Her live works exhibit this process in real time. Oliver, who also performs under the name French Leave, is originally from Springfield, Massachusetts. She is an actress, playwright, multi-award-winning filmmaker, and member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT), and Women of Color Unite (WOCU).
Oliver received a 2022 IDEA Opera Residency and a 2023 IDEA Opera Grant from OPERA America for her series in development — AR Arias: Sojourner Truth.
Yosvany Terry, composer
Yosvany Terry is a saxophonist, composer, and educator who received his earliest training from his father, Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry, a violinist and Cuba’s leading player of the chekeré. After mastering this Afro-Cuban percussion instrument, Terry went on to receive his classical music training from the National School of Arts and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana. As a musician-composer, he incorporates American Jazz traditions with his own Afro-Cuban roots to produce performances and compositions that flow from the rhythmic and hard-driving avant-garde to sweet-sounding lyricism. He is a practitioner of the Arará tradition and draws on Yoruba practices and melodic traditions for his compositions. Terry brings his inimitable style to stages all over the world, and he has been recognized with a Grammy nomination, a Doris Duke Award, and commissions from Chamber Music America, the Jerome and Rockefeller Foundations, and the MAP Fund. He is on the faculty of Harvard University.
Terry received a 2022 IDEA Opera Residency from OPERA America for his opera Aponte.
Qian Yi, composer
Qian Yi is a leading figure of Chinese opera (Kunqu) who established her career as a soprano with the Shanghai Kun Opera Company. She rose to international prominence in 1998 when she performed the lead role of Du Liniang in Lincoln Center Festival’s 19-hour production of The Peony Pavilion, which toured throughout the world. She created the role of Precious Auntie in San Francisco Opera’s 2008 world premiere of The Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Stewart Wallace and Amy Tan. More recently, she appeared as the lead role in Huang Ruo’s Paradise Interrupted, a new installation opera at Spoleto Festival USA for which she also wrote the libretto. Yi has written two plays, A Robe for the Moon and Fox Spirit, and developed the collaborative ensemble piece Moonlight Meditation. She composed a series of arias, The Legend of Rainbow Fairy, and performed in its premiere in Taiwan in 2009.
Yi received a 2022 IDEA Opera Residency from OPERA America for her first opera, The Encompassing (working title).
Marc A. Scorca, OPERA America President/CEO
Marc A. Scorca joined OPERA America in 1990 as president and CEO. Since that time, the OPERA America membership has grown from 120 opera companies to 3,500 organizations and individuals. Under his leadership, OPERA America has administered two landmark funding initiatives in support of the development of North American operas and opera audiences and launched an endowment effort in 2000 to create a permanent fund dedicated to supporting new works and audience development activities. In 2005, Scorca spearheaded OPERA America’s relocation from Washington, D.C. to New York City and the subsequent construction of the National Opera Center, which opened in 2012 and serves 80,000 guests each year. The Opera Center’s recital hall was dedicated as Marc A. Scorca Hall in 2015 in honor of Scorca’s 25th anniversary with the organization.
Scorca has led strategic planning retreats for opera companies and other cultural institutions internationally, and has participated on panels for federal, state, and local funding agencies, as well as for numerous private organizations. He also appears frequently in the media on a variety of cultural issues. A strong advocate of collaboration, Scorca has led several cross-disciplinary projects, including the Performing Arts Research Coalition and the National Performing Arts Convention (2004 and 2008). He is currently a member of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO. Scorca serves as an officer on the boards of the Performing Arts Alliance and the Curtis Institute of Music, and is on the Music Advisory Board of Hunter College (CUNY). Scorca attended Amherst College, where he graduated with high honors in both history and music.
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This event is part of OPERA America Onstage, our signature public programming series that welcomes artists, students, and opera audiences for intimate performances and conversations with our industry’s leading artists and rising talent. Learn more and see what's next at OPERA America Onstage.
Looking for more opera in your life? Check out the National Opera Calendar to find out what's on stage near you.
The 2023–2024 season of OPERA America Onstage is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Programming at the National Opera Center is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.