Female Composers Take Center Stage
The seven women receiving Discovery Grants this year through OA’s Opera Grants for Female Composers (OGFC) program join the ranks of some of the most successful composers of recent years. Just within the past year, Laura Kaminsky’s As One, developed with support from an inaugural Discovery Grant, received six productions; it is currently the most produced opera by a living composer in North America. Kaminsky’s latest opera, Today It Rains, bowed at Opera Parallèle at the end of March, thanks in part to a 2017 OGFC Commissioning Grant. Stinney: An American Execution, which earned its composer, Frances Pollock, a 2017 Discovery Grant, got a first look during January’s PROTOTYPE Festival, when it was presented in concert as a work-in-progress. And in February, Opera Columbus and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra premiered Korine Fujiwara’s The Flood, which had garnered a 2016 Commissioning Grant.
This year’s grantees received a total of $100,000. Funded by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the Opera Grants for Female Composers program has, since 2013, given nearly $1 million in Discovery Grants, which go directly to composers, and Commissioning Grants, which provide companies with funds to commission works by women. To date, the program has aided in the development of 68 operas.
The aim of the grant program is not just to fund new works, but also to raise the visibility of female composers among stakeholders in the field. To that end, OPERA America is providing support for the grant recipients to attend Opera Conference 2019 this June in San Francisco, where they will have the opportunity to share information about their works with attendees and meet potential producers.
Visit the Discovery Grants page for more information on how to apply.