With the forthcoming launch of their new global streaming platform, Opera Philadelphia has commissioned four American composers to create and premiere new works to be streamed on the channel. The first premiere, slated for January 2021, will be composed by Opera Philadelphia Composer in Residence Tyshawn Sorey, the Newark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. Subsequent premieres will be composed by: Courtney Bryan, whose music is in conversation with various musical genres, including jazz and other types of experimental music, as well as traditional gospel, spirituals, and hymns; Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón, who writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys, and electronics as well as for chamber ensembles, orchestras, and choir; and Caroline Shaw, a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member.
“We are thrilled to bring audiences together with these four incredible composers to continue to explore the creative process and the future of opera,” said David B. Devan, General Director & President of Opera Philadelphia. “As we explore and create for the digital stage, I cannot think of four more distinctive artists to lead the way.”
“We are excited to work with Tyshawn, Courtney, Angélica, and Caroline to create something new for the digital space,” said New Works Administrator Sarah Williams. “This is an opportunity to build upon our exploratory and innovative practice by commissioning these four creative composers who will work with a small ensemble of extraordinary artists to bring new music to our screens. We know our attention span has changed in the digital age, so they will create short, visual vignettes that play into that, all the while celebrating a sound world unique to each of them.”