American Lyric Theater Announces National Expansion of Composer Librettist Development Program
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by BWW News Desk
Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director of American Lyric Theater, announced today the national expansion of the company's core initiative, The Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP). Through the use of newly acquired HD teleconferencing technology, gifted emerging artists with an interest in writing for the opera stage will be able to participate in the CLDP, regardless of where they live in the country.
Founded in 2007 and recognized for artistic excellence by both the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the CLDP is the only full-time professional mentorship initiative for operatic writers in the country. The CLDP is a tuition-free program that includes a core curriculum of classroom training and hands-on workshops with some of the country's leading working artists. The principal faculty for the 2013-2014 CLDP will include composer/librettist Mark Adamo, librettist Mark Campbell, composer Robert Beaser, dramaturg Cori Ellison, librettist Michael Korie, stage director Rhoda Levine, and composer Paul Moravec. Recent guest teachers and lecturers have included composers Kaija Saariaho, Ricky Ian Gordon, Nico Muhly, StewArt Wallace, Christopher Theofanidis, and John Musto, and librettists Stephen Karam, Donna DiNovelli, and Gene Scheer. The program is overseen by Mr. Edelson. Biographies of ALT's mentorship team and faculty may be found at:
Mr. Edelson stated, "To date, over 30 artists from the metropolitan New York City area have benefited from the intensive mentorship provided by American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program. We are thrilled to announce the national expansion of this program, and to invite applications for the 2013-2014 program from composers and librettists from across the United States, who will be able to participate in the CLDP remotely through the use of HD video conferencing technology. The acquisition of this new, high speed, high-resolution technology will now enable ALT to invite artists from all over the country to participate in the CLDP and to collaborate with other artists, without geographic restriction."
Marc Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America, commented on the program saying, "ALT's Composer Librettist Development Program has been an important contributing force to the flow of new American operas in recent years. The fact that ALT's exceptional program of training and support for composers and librettists will now be available to participants from across the country comes as very good news. Outstanding new works and strong new relationships among artists and producers have resulted from Edelson's visionary leadership of American Lyric Theater. I look forward to the expanded, national impact of this program."
Notable alumni of the CLDP include librettist Royce Vavrek (Dog Days with David T. Little; Song from the Uproar with Missy Mazzoli); librettist Tony Asaro and composer Christopher Cerrone (All Wounds Bleed at ALT, to be premiered by Tulsa Opera in March 2013); librettist Deborah Brevoort and composer Patrick Soluri (Embedded at ALT, to be featured as part of Fort Worth Opera's Frontiers showcase in May 2013); and composer Aleksandra Vrebablov (Mileva for the Serbian National Opera).
In addition to ongoing classes and workshops, composers and librettists in the program have the opportunity to take part in residency observerships at The Metropolitan Opera. Through this recently expanded partnership, ALT is able to provide artists the opportunity to explore the process of mounting fully staged operatic productions. ALT also provides opportunities for Resident Artists to meet opera company leaders from around the country so that they can showcase their work, and expand their professional network. Additional networking and membership resources are provided through ALT's partnership with OPERA America.
American Lyric Theater's 2013-2014 Composer Librettist Development Program will run from September 15, 2013 to June 18, 2014. All artists accepted into the program will be required to be in New York City for two weeks during the program (September 15-22, 2013 and June 11-18, 2014). For those artists who do not live in the metropolitan New York City area, ALT will provide transportation and housing. Artists will be able to fully participate in the remainder of the program (over 70 classes and workshops) either in person or remotely.
Applications for the 2013-2014 CLDP will be open February 1 to April 1, 2013. Complete details for how to apply to the CLDP may be found at:
The CLDP is tuition free for selected artists, and is designed to provide customized mentorship to artists from a wide variety of backgrounds. ALT's mandate includes mentoring artists with classical training, as well as those with non-traditional/non-classical backgrounds who have a passionate interest in writing for the opera stage. Based on the quality of applicants each year, ALT accepts up to eight artists to participate in year one of the Program. After their first year, select artists are invited to continue their residency with ALT as they continue to receive highly personalized mentorship while working towards developing full-length works.
Applications are welcome from any emerging composer or librettist/playwright who is a U.S. Citizen or legal resident. Artists may apply individually to the program or as a member of a writing team. ALT defines an emerging opera Composer or Librettist as someone who has acquired significant skills as a composer and/or librettist (or playwright) through academic study, practice, and professional experience; who demonstrates a unique and important musical and/or theatrical perspective that could benefit from intense mentorship as part of the CLDP; and who has not yet had a work commissioned or performed by a professional opera company in the United States (i.e. they have not been paid by an OPERA America professional producing company to write a new opera, or an opera they have written has not been licensed for fully staged performance by an OPERA America professional producing company). Artists' work in other genres may have been performed professionally, as ALT's definition of emerging applies specifically to an artist's development as a writer for the opera stage. Students of degree granting institutions are not eligible for consideration; however exceptions may be made for doctoral students who are in the process of completing their dissertations. (Students who will be engaged in an ongoing course of classroom study during the 2013-2014 season should not apply to this program. Students graduating in the spring or summer of 2013 are welcome to apply.) There are no age restrictions for participation.
American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 to build a new body of operatic repertoire for new audiences by nurturing composers and librettists, developing sustainable artistic collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. ALT is not an opera company by any traditional definition. Many opera companies commission and perform new works; but ALT is the only company in the United States that offers extensive, full-time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. While the traditional company model focuses on producing a season, ALT's programs focus on serving the needs of composers and librettists, developing new works, and collaborating with larger producing companies to help usher those works into the repertoire.
In 2006, ALT commissioned The Golden Ticket, a new opera based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, from American composer Peter Ash and librettist Donald Sturrock. ALT then developed a partnership with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to present the world premiere of The Golden Ticket, which took place in June 2010 to tremendous critical and audience acclaim. The opera was subsequently presented in partnership with The Wexford Festival and The Atlanta Opera. A live recording of The Golden Ticket was produced by ALT in conjunction with the most recent performances in Atlanta, and released in December 2012 on Albany Records.
In 2007, ALT launched its core initiative, the Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP), led by Producing Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson and a faculty including some of the country's foremost artists. To date, the program has provided intensive, personalized mentorship to 30 gifted emerging artists; and 11 short chamber operas have been developed under the auspices of the program. In 2009, ALT commissioned The Poe Project, a trilogy of one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe from six CLDP Resident Artists which will receive its world premiere in 2014. In 2012, ALT announced three new opera commissions being written by returning CLDP artists: La Reina, an opera in Spanish and English that explores the war on drugs between Mexico and the United States, by Jorge Sosa and Laura Sosa Pedroza; The Turing Project, a historical fantasia that explores the life of British scientist Alan Turing, by Justine F. Chen and David Simpatico; and The Long Walk, based on Brian Castner's critically acclaimed memoir of the same name, by Jeremy Howard Beck and Stephanie Fleischmann.
In 2012, ALT was the first company dedicated to artist mentorship rather than operatic production to be recognized by OPERA America as a Professional Company Member - a testament to ALT's service to the field.
The Composer Librettist Development Program and American Lyric Theater's public performance programs are made possible by generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, OPERA America/The Opera Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Esther B. Kahn Charitable Foundation, The Amphion Foundation, and The Dorothy Loudon Foundation.