Program

Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera

OPERA America is pleased to announce the launch of Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera, a new initiative that seeks to recognize the best work created for digital platforms and encourage further investment in this vibrant aspect of opera production. The program is made possible by a generous grant from The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, with gratitude for the support of foundation trustees, Joe Erdman and Melissa Young. 

The award guidelines and application will be posted on this page on July 12, 2022.

Application Cycle
Application available online: July 12, 2022
Application deadline: August 10, 2022
Finalists announced: September 2022
Winners announced: October 2022

Please see below for our announcement of this new program. 


OPERA America Launches Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera

To promote digital work as an important part of the opera experience

Supported by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation 

OPERA America is pleased to announce the launch of Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera, a new initiative that seeks to recognize the best work created for digital platforms and encourage further investment in this vibrant aspect of opera production. The program is made possible by a generous grant from The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, with gratitude for the support of foundation trustees, Joe Erdman and Melissa Young. 

During the COVID crisis, opera producers and artists demonstrated tremendous creative capacity to adapt and invent, most notably on digital platforms. From film projects to recitals, to education programs and lecture series, new and exciting work reached veteran opera lovers and newcomers to the art form across the country and around the world.

The Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera promote digital work as a continuing and important part of the opera enterprise. These awards will increase the standard of digital opera productivity by turning the spotlight on the best work being created each year in four categories:  

  • Artistic Creation, which may include captured stage performances, film projects, recitals, or any other artistic expression;  
  • Education/Enrichment Material, which may include education programs for all ages, including K-12 classroom activities, lecture demonstrations, master classes, and/or interviews or panel discussions;  
  • University/Conservatory Projects, which may include projects conceived, created, and distributed by a teaching institution; and 
  • Noteworthy projects that cross definitional boundaries or expand the definition of opera. 

Content may include any form of digital product, including made-for-digital projects, filmed stage performances, virtual and augmented reality, and enrichment content, among others. Submitted projects must have been available to the general public and/or a limited audience of ticket buyers between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. Awards will recognize the most successful digital projects in relation to the overall screen experience and the project goals articulated by producers. 

Organizational and individual creators based in the United States and Canada may submit up to two digital products across any/all categories for consideration. Applications will require a statement describing the reason for consideration, such as artistic objectives, intended audiences, and unique technical challenges or accomplishments. An external link to the complete digital project is required.   

Submissions will be reviewed in several rounds by judges from across the field. 

In addition to evaluating the screen experience, judges will assess the underlying quality of the work(s) or performance(s), as well as level of innovation and/or experimentation of the digital project. Finalists will be announced in September 2022. Winners will be announced in October.  

This award joins other OPERA America initiatives that recognize excellence across the opera field. Through its extensive grants and awards portfolio, OPERA America supports new work development, civic practice, co-production, and the advancement of women and people of color in leadership and as artists. 

About Joseph Cornell 

Joseph Cornell (1903–1972), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, was born in Nyack, New York, and lived his life in Flushing, New York. Joseph Cornell made his first work of art in 1931, inspired by an exhibition of French Surrealists that he had seen in Manhattan. These early collages were followed by a series of works that eventually evolved into the glass-fronted “shadow boxes” for which he is primarily recognized today. Known as assemblage art, Cornell’s boxes are lauded for their poetic sensibilities: dream-like works that often evoke a nostalgia for the past. He also pursued experimental filmmaking as an amateur beginning in the 1930s. Cornell was the principal pioneer of collage films in a purely artistic sense and, although the introduction of his films into the public forum was relatively late compared to when they were made, his work as a filmmaker has been widely influential.  

For questions about applications or eligibility, contact us at Grants@operaamerica.org or 646.699.5236.