New Works Forum

OPERA America’s New Works Forum is the pre-eminent national convening dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of new American opera.

Since 2011, the forum has brought together individuals from all areas of the field, including producers, composers, librettists, conductors, designers, and publishers, to ask questions and share knowledge about creating and producing new operatic works.

Robust presentations on commissioning, coproducing, storytelling, and technology are paired with live performances of new works and works-in-development. These convivial gatherings have fostered new connections between artists and producers that have resulted in countless fully realized productions on American stages.

The New Works Forum is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Program Details

The New Works Forum convenes in several multiday meetings throughout the year, including signature programming in January in New York City and at our annual conference each spring. Producers, creative artists, publishers, and other stakeholders working to develop, support, and promote new work are invited to attend.

Past sessions have examined a broad range of topics including creative commissioning, cutting-edge technological solutions, effective storytelling, improving collaborative relationships with creators, and other issues that contribute to an environment where new work can thrive. Programming is guided by a New Works Forum Planning Committee and a racial equity consultant.

Forum meetings are scheduled to allow participants to attend significant premieres and productions of new work, such as those in the PROTOTYPE Festival each January in New York City. We also support showcases of new work by member companies with dedicated grants from OPERA America.

New Works Forum 2021

A Three-Part Series of Convenings | Online via Zoom

Winter Meeting: January 26‒27, 2021
Spring Meeting: March 29‒31, 2021
Summer Meeting: June 8‒9, 2021

The 2021 forum will advance the field’s commitment to racial justice in and through new work development. It will be guided by four priorities:

  • Equity: Dismantle oppressive systems in the production of new works.
  • Inclusion: Challenge the field to adopt a more inclusive understanding of new work.
  • Diversity: Actively diversify content and participants to center the work and perspectives of BIPOC creators.
  • Power Sharing: Intentionally shift power structures to counter systemic bias and inequity in opera.

Part 2: Spring Meeting

Topics for the spring meeting of the New Works Forum include:

  • Framing Our Learning
  • Breaking Down Gatekeeping
  • The Art of Producing
  • Power-Sharing in Practice
  • New Works Exploration: Creator Previews

Forum Sessions
Monday, March 29, 11:00 a.m. ‒ 1:00 p.m. EDT
Tuesday, March 30, 11:00 a.m. ‒ 1:00 p.m. EDT
Tuesday, March 30, 3:00 p.m. ‒ 5:00 p.m. EDT
Wednesday, March 31, 11:00 a.m. ‒ 1:00 p.m. EDT
Wednesday, March 31, 3:00 p.m. ‒ 5:00 p.m. EDT

Specific session details will be announced. Participants may choose to attend as many sessions as their schedules allow.

The spring meeting of the New Works Forum is open to OPERA America members and non-members with registration.

  • OPERA America Member (Org. Staff and Individuals) — $25
  • OPERA America Artist Member — $10
  • Non-Member — $40
  • Artist Non-Member — $15
  • Student — $5

If you are currently facing financial hardship that will impact your ability to pay the registration fee and attend the forum, contact us at or 646.699.5240.

To register, OPERA America members can log in to reveal a “Register” button with member rates. Non-members and students can register here.

For more information, contact us at or 646.699.5240.