OPERA America has awarded the fifth cycle of Commissioning Grants from its Opera Grants for Female Composers program to six professional opera companies across the United States.
Grants were awarded to:
- The Industry (Los Angeles, CA) for Sweet Land; music by Du Yun and Raven Chacon, libretto by Douglas Kearney and Aja Couchois Duncan
- Lyric Opera of Chicago (Chicago, IL) for an untitled opera with music by Caroline Shaw and libretto by Sarah Kay
- Mill City Summer Opera (Minneapolis, MN) for Stone Arch: A Walking Opera; music and libretto (from found texts) by Mary Ellen Childs
- Opera Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) for Ten Days in a Madhouse;
music by Rene Orth and libretto by Hannah Moscovitch
- Opera Steamboat (Steamboat Springs, CO) for Cookie by Leanna Kirchoff and libretto by Rachel Peters
- Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC) for an opera on the life of Omar Ibn Said (title TBD) with music and libretto by Rhiannon Giddens
The six grantees were selected from an applicant pool of 15 eligible OPERA America Professional Company Members, which applied to receive up to 50 percent of the composer’s fee for a full production of a commissioned work, with awards of up to $50,000. The independent adjudication panel of industry experts included Carmen Balthrop, soprano; Katy Clark, president, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Stephanie Fleischmann, librettist; Jay Scheib, director; and Daniel Sonenberg, composer.
The Opera Grants for Female Composers program promotes the development of new works by women and raises the visibility of women writing for the operatic medium. The program consists of two granting components: Discovery Grants, awarded directly to female composers to advance their work, and Commissioning Grants, awarded to opera companies for commissions by female composers. Since its inception in 2014, the program has presented almost $1.1 million to opera companies and composers. The grants are made possible through the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. (A complete list of all the previous grant recipients of this program is available as a PDF on the OPERA America website.)