Second (and Third) Chances
In the late 1990s and early 2000s — a period when contemporary operas were more likely to get premieres than further productions — OA’s Next Stage Grants supported new productions of such notable recent works as Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, Philip Glass’ Akhnaten, and Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking. Now, after a hiatus of nearly two decades, the program is returning, with the aim of not only helping underperformed works gain a foothold, but of providing opportunities for creators to edit and refine their works. Companies may apply for up to half of production costs, as well as supplemental support for score, libretto, or orchestration revisions.
In December, the first round of the relaunched Next Stage Grants provided $270,000 to eight opera companies, selected by an independent adjudication panel from a pool of 35 applicants. The funded productions span more four decades of opera creation — from the 1976 rarity The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, by Dominick Argento and Charles M. Nolte, to Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch’s 2018 Sky on Swings.
Next Stage Grants have been revived thanks to funding from Gene Kaufman, Terry Eder-Kaufman, and New Vision for NYC Opera, as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.