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Rachel J. Peters

Brooklyn, NY            

Composer/librettist Rachel J. Peters (b. 1977) writes all manner of works for the stage. Her operas include Rootabaga Country (Sarasota Opera), The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Royce Vavrek (Center for Contemporary Opera), Companionship (Fort Worth Opera), No Ladies in the Lady’s Book with Lisa DeSpain (Utah Opera)  Steve (Boston Opera Collaborative),  Pie, Pith, and Palette with Marvin J. Carlton (The Atlanta Opera), and Monkey Do (Rhymes With Opera). Musicals include Only Children with Michael R. Jackson (NYU Tisch Mainstage, Lincoln Center Directors Lab), Tiny Feats of Cowardice with Susan Bernfield (NYC Fringe Festival), Write Left with John Walch (Playwrights Horizons Theatre School), Tomato Red (UC Irvine), and Octopus Heart (NYU Steinhardt). Scores for plays include the critically acclaimed Stretch (a fantasia) (New Georges) and Tania in the Getaway Van (Huntington Theatre) by Susan Bernfield, Transatlantic by John Walch (Arkansas Rep), The Bacchae (Asolo Rep Conservatory), and several plays by Stan Richardson. Concert works include If You Can Prove That I Should Set You Free (Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire), Ethel Smyth Plays Golf in Limbo (Semperoper Dresden), Jack’s Vocabulary (Hartt SPASM), I Live Here (Galapagos Art Space), Canon I (Two Sides Sounding), And Then (BayPath College), and Fronds: The Wisdom of Fanny Fern (Walt Whitman Project).  Her art songs and cabaret songs have been performed at Lincoln Center, Second Stage, The National Opera Center, Symphony Space, NYMF, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, and cabarets and theatres nationwide. She is a contributing composer/lyricist to the new generation of The AIDS Quilt Songbook. Rachel has been in residence at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Yaddo, and Brush Creek Arts. She is a proud alumna of New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice, and the John Duffy Composers Institute. She holds a double B.A. from Brandeis University and an MFA from New York University.

Articles by Rachel J. Peters:

Articles August 24 2015 | By Rachel J. Peters
When Do I Get to Stop Exposing Myself?

Some companies advertise the pieces we write for free as new commissions. I vote for an immediate end to this practice. By all means, call it a world premiere by...

Articles August 17 2015 | By Rachel J. Peters
Mister, Make Me a…Song?

Songs written for the stage are no longer the currency of mainstream musical engagement, yet “song” has become the default term for just about any piece of music under the...

Articles August 10 2015 | By Rachel J. Peters
If the Medium Is the Message, Then Who Should Sing It?

Why is it so challenging to find the right singers to fit the bill, and is there value in writing for and/or casting singers who specialize in the “wrong” style...

Articles August 3 2015 | By Rachel J. Peters
It’s a Floor Wax and a Dessert Topping

I won’t rehash any discussions about the technical differences between musicals and operas, but I am interested in exploring preconceived notions held by those working in both genres and the...