OPERA America, The Opera Fund
Opera Parallèle (San Francisco, CA)
Gesualdo, Prince of Madness by Dante De Silva and Mitchell Morris ($16,000)
The work is to be a two-act opera titled Castle Gesualdo that will examine the "flexible" nature of justice through the figure of Carlo Gesualdo, a 16th-century composer accused of murder who escaped prosecution because of his noble status. Gesualdo, a daring composer of his time (1566-1613), will lend his chromatic language to the fabric of the new score. Lute, theorbo and a female chorus will blend with modern instruments in the orchestra. The grant will support the completion and revisions of the piano-vocal score and a public interactive reading session in June 2013.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
27 by Ricky Ian Gordon and Michale Korie ($27,000)
The grant will support the commission and the production of musical materials for 27, which tells the story of the time Gertrude Stein spent in Paris between World Wars I and II. The opera's title - 27 - reflects the address of her famous Parisian salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus. The opera will be written in two short acts and accompanied by a chamber-sized orchestra. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe will perform the role of Gertrude Stein.
Recipients of the Repertoire Development grants were selected by a panel of industry leaders, including Mark Adamo, composer; Michael Barrett, associate artistic director of the New York Festival of Song; Bruce Garnett, director; Dorothy Byrne, mezzo-soprano; Mark Campbell, librettist; and Laura Kaminsky, composer and artistic director of Symphony Space.
The Opera Fund was launched by The National Endowment for the Arts, and is funded by The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Lee Day Gillespie, Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James S. and John K. Knight Foundation and the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation.
* Note: Reflecting his role as both panelist and librettist, Mark Campbell did not participate in the discussion and evaluation of the projects for which he is the librettist.
THE ROBERT L.B. TOBIN DIRECTOR-DESIGNER SHOWCASE
OPERA America's bi-annual Director-Designer Showcase, made possible by the generosity of The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, brings new talent to the forefront and is intended to connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers.
Twenty-seven applicant teams of directors and designers created production concepts for an American opera, chosen from a diverse, curated list. As part of the application process, each team submitted a production concept, including an explanation of the staging; ideas and initial research for scenery, props and costumes; required personnel; and suggestions for adaptations and/or editing, if any.
Each team will be given $2,000 to be used toward further research and the production of more comprehensive renderings and models. The teams will also be mentored by one of the panelists as the final presentations are prepared. Up to two representatives from each finalist team will receive travel, lodging and registration to attend Opera Conference 2013 in Vancouver, B.C., in May 2013 to present their proposals to opera producers at a special session and to network with conference attendees.
The 2012-2013 Director-Designer Showcase finalist teams are:
Silent Night (Kevin Puts/Mark Campbell):
George Cederquist, director
Marianna Csaszar, set and costume designer
Sarah Hughey, lighting designer
Elmer Gantry (Robert Aldridge/Herschel Garfein):
Stephanie Havey, director
Patrick Rizzotti, set designer
Megan Spatz, costume designer
BranDon Mitchell, lighting designer
The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht):
Walker Lewis, director
David Meyer, set designer
Grace Trimble, costume designer
Susannah (Carlisle Floyd):
Mo Zhou, director
Tim Brown, set designer
Lisa Loen, costume designer
Yi Zhao, lighting designer
As opera is an intrinsically collaborative art form, the projects chosen were selected not only because they demonstrate the requisite creativity and skill, but because they displayed true collaboration, creative vibrancy and collective passion.
The four finalist teams were selected by panelists David B. Devan, general director, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Jane Greenwood, designer; Sam Helfrich, stage director; and Kurt Howard, producing director, Fort Worth Opera.
"OPERA America is uniquely positioned as the field's convener and connector to advance the careers of the most talented creative artists," stated Scorca. "The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase enables us to support the career development of stage directors and designers and, through them, further the artistic development of the opera form."
For more information about OPERA America, its services, programs and events,
OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.
Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.
Founded in 1970, OPERA America's worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 Company Members, 300 Associate and Business Members, 2,000 Individual Members and more than 16,000 subscribers to the association's electronic news service. In 2005, OPERA America relocated from Washington, D.C. to New York as the first step in creating the first-ever National Opera Center. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, the Opera Center is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.
OPERA America's long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and development of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund, a growing endowment which allows OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works. Since its inception, OPERA America has made grants of over $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works.