Fort Worth — The Fort Worth Opera is calling for submissions for its third Frontiers showcase, in which excerpts of new operas will be performed in the FWO's 2015 summer festival. The first Frontiers in 2013 was a success; and the 2014 selections have been announced.
Below is the full news release, which includes submission information, and more about the judges:
FWOpera’s Pioneering New Works Showcase Frontiers Announces Call for Submissions Unpublished works by up-and-coming composer and librettists to be presented during 2015 FWOpera Festival with additional consideration for future production at FWOpera.
FORT WORTH, TX – Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) announced today a call for submissions for its third annual Frontiers new works showcase that will take place during the 2015 Fort Worth Opera Festival. Praised by critics as “one of the most significant musical events of the year,” (D Magazine, 2013), the Frontiers programs aims to search out undiscovered 21st century operatic compositions, with an eye to identifying works for future presentation in FWOpera’s alternative venue series, Opera Unbound. The 2015 Frontiers showcase will be chaired by FWOpera General Director Darren K. Woods and will feature an expanded jury of 17 conductors, producers, and artistic directors. This panel of distinguished industry leaders will specifically seek out chamber-sized works written for adult audiences, although larger works and works on other subjects will still be considered eligible for inclusion in the showcase.
Open to composers of the Americas (North America, South America, Central America, and all associated territories), Frontiers remains one of the few programs of its kind world-wide by providing an invaluable platform for up-and-coming composers and librettists to gain exposure for their works in a live performance environment, while also affording them networking opportunities with a multitude of industry professionals. Composer and librettist teams whose works are selected for inclusion in the 2015 showcase will be in residence during the 2015 Fort their works, and engage in post-performance discussions with panelists and audience members. Additionally, the creative teams will receive feedback on their works during private meetings with Frontiers jury members and will be provided a recording of their operas to further assist them in the compositional process.
Interested and qualified candidates can obtain the submission information and address by contacting Frontiers Curator Kurt Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only 15-25 minutes of a composition will be considered and all works must be submitted by 11:59 pm Saturday, May 31, 2014. Between six and eight compositions will be selected for participation in the 2015 Frontiers showcase.
More on the Frontiers 2015 showcase: It is the goal of FWOpera’s pioneering Frontiers showcase to shine a light on the next generation of composers and librettists and to bring to life their works which represent the future of the operatic medium. Like last year, the 2015 Frontiers showcase will divide the selected works into two classifications: 1). those that have received public performances through workshop, conservatory, or university establishments but have you to receive a professional premiere, and 2). those works that have not received public performance of any kind. The 2015 Frontiers panel has also been expanded to include new collaborative partners who will play a critical role in the long-term development of the Frontiers works to help ensure their future development. New panelists include Daniel Biaggi (Palm Beach Opera), Yuval Sharon (The Industry), Andreas Mitisek (Chicago Opera Theater/Long Beach Opera), Timothy Myers (North Carolina Opera). Returning panelists include Beth Morrision (Beth Morrison Projects), Charles Jarden (American Opera Projects), Ben Krywosz (Nautilus Music Theater), Kim Whitener (HERE), William Florescu (Florentine Opera), John Hoomes (Nashville Opera), and Robert Wood (UrbanArias), conductor Steven Osgood, Lawrence Edelson (American Lyric Theater), Darren K. Woods, (FWOpera General Director), Kurt Howard (FWOpera Producing Director and Frontiers Curator), Joe Illick (FWOpera Music Director), and Keith A. Wolfe (FWOpera Managing Director). In announcing the third year of Frontiers, FWOpera Producing Director and Frontiers Curator Kurt Howard commented on the success of the program and its continual growth saying, “we are very pleased at the industry's response to our Frontiers program. Several of our first year selections have gone on into production with other companies, and we have forged close bonds with composers and librettists at the forefront of contemporary opera.”
Composers from the Americas (citizens or residents of North, Central, and South America, as well as associated territories) are eligible and invited to submit a composition via an online portal that will guarantee blind submission. Excerpts should be between 15-25 minutes in length and must not have been presented publicly except for workshop or school presentations. While the works may ultimately consist of grand scale personnel or orchestral forces, submitted selections may only utilize up to six singers. Only those that can be performed with solo piano accompaniment will be considered for the showcase; no additional electronic, percussion, acoustic instrument, or other equipment may be used. A minimum of 15 minutes of the composition must be completed—although the selection does not need to be continuous—and can be in any language. Composers may only submit one work for the Frontiers 2015 showcase. Six to eight pieces will be selected and showcased. Composers and librettists must attend the rehearsal and showcase during the 2015 Festival (May 4 – 10, 2015). Lodging and round-trip travel will be provided. Works not selected will not be automatically reconsidered for future showcases, however, these works may be submitted again to the 2016 competition. Past Frontiers selections include 2013: Brian Current and Anton Piatigorsky (Airline Icarus), Patrick Soluri & Deborah Brevoort (Embedded), Wang Jie (From the Other Sky), Louis Karchen & Diane Osen (Jane Eyre), Veronika Krausas and Thomas Pettit (The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth), Daniel Sonenberg (The Summer King), Matt Frey and Daniel J. Kushner (The Fox and the Pomegranate), Stephen Eddins and Michael O’Brien (Why I Live at the P.O.)
2014: Herschel Garfein (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), Antony Green (Alex in Transition), Robert Paterson and David Cote (Safe Word), Matthew Peterson and Jason Zencka (Voir Dire), Ronnie Reschef(Something to Live For), Brent Straughan (Precari), David Vayo and Nancy Steel Brokaw (Fertile Ground), Christopher Weiss and S. O’Duinn Magee (In a Mirror, Darkly).
Frontiers 2015 Submission Information: Applications must be submitted between February 5 and May 31, 2014.
Please contact Kurt Howard, Curator, at email@example.com for submission address and information. Only 15-25 minutes of a composition will be considered. Submissions must include: Synopsis of the entire composition; Libretto and Piano/Vocal score of the excerpts (in order within the piece); English translation if the work is in another language. All materials submitted must have the composer and librettist names removed to ensure anonymity during the panel review. A non-refundable entry fee of $20US is due upon submission. Fort Worth Opera retains the right to select fewer than six works for the showcase. More details are available at www.fwopera.org/frontiers.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS:
Since being named General Director in July 2001, Darren K. Woods has worked tirelessly to establish Fort Worth Opera’s reputation for high-quality, dynamic productions. Under his leadership, the company has gained national attention from critics and audiences alike for its artistic quality and willingness to take risks, and it is known throughout the operatic community as an organization that champions new and rarely-performed works. Under Mr. Woods’ guidance, Fort Worth Opera has created Frontiers, a new works showcase that debuted in 2013 and shines a spotlight on unpublished, original 21st-century works by composers from the Americas. Another substantial innovation, which revitalized Fort Worth Opera’s image, launched in May 2007 when the company changed from a fall/winter schedule to a condensed, one-month long spring festival season. Mr. Woods’ tenure at Fort Worth Opera has led to a consistent increase in subscription and donor bases, a balanced budget for the eighth consecutive year, and a deepening commitment to education through the training of young singers with the Fort Worth Opera Studio. In 2011, Mr. Woods was appointed vice chairman for the board of OPERA America, the national service organization for the art form, where he also serves on the finance and information services committees and chairs the artist services committee.
Kurt Howard (FWOpera Producing Director/ Frontiers Curator) was named Producing Director of Fort Worth Opera in 2010, as he started his seventh season with the company. He has led the FWOpera production team through the transition into a repertory/festival format as both a production manager and stage manager, and continues in a role which puts him directly responsible for all aspects of production, including the development of new works premiered at Fort Worth Opera. His responsibilities include artistic and creative team management, budget development and management, and production oversight – overseeing over $3 million in expense per season. Premieres includeFrau Margot (Pasatieri), Before Night Falls (Martín), A Wrinkle in Time (Larsen), and JFK (Little/Vavrek).
Now entering his third season as General Director of the Palm Beach Opera, Daniel Biaggi is committed to expanding the company’s mission of presenting high quality opera productions and engaging educational and community outreach performances to the communities it serves. Under his leadership, the company ended the fiscal year 2010 for the first time with a budget surplus after successful fundraising initiatives including a major Matching Grant Campaign and Board of Director’s expansion plan. A frequent panel discussion guest and competition judge, Daniel Biaggi has served among others as panelist for the 2008 Opera America Conference in Denver, and has been jury member for the Tucker Foundation Career Grant Competition and Awards Nomination Panel, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition.
Lawrence Edelson is the founder and producing artistic director of American Lyric Theater (ALT) in New York City, where he created the Composer Librettist Development Program, the only full-time mentorship program for emerging operatic composers and librettists in the U.S. He was responsible for the commissioning and development of The Golden Ticket, based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2010, and is currently overseeing the development of six new operas at ALT. An accomplished stage director and choreographer, his critically acclaimed productions include Hydrogen Jukebox (Fort Worth Opera), La Traviata (Minnesota Opera), the American premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus (Wolf Trap Opera), a double bill of La Serva Padrona and Trouble in Tahiti (Opera Santa Barbara), Fauré’s Pénélope (Manhattan School of Music), Così fan tutte (BU Opera Institute), and the world premiere of The ToyMaker (off-Broadway as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival).
William Florescu became the General Director of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company in May of 2005. During his tenure, he has overseen the expansion of the company’s repertoire. In October of 2008, Mr. Florescu oversaw the creation of the Florentine Opera Studio, a nine-month program for young professional singers, which is in its fifth year for the Florentine’s 2012-2013 season. Opera audiences around the country have seen his work as a stage director, most recently for Augusta Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Nashville Opera, Opera Columbus and Opera Birmingham. Mr. Florescu has served on the Opera Review Panel and as an on-site reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts. During the 2012-2013 season, he will judge the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in various US cities and direct a production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring for the Florentine Opera on the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth. He serves on the Board of Directors for OPERA America and is a charter Board Director for the Creative Alliance of Milwaukee.
John Hoomes has been the artistic director of Nashville Opera since 1995. Also a free-lance stage director, he has directed over 150 productions of opera and music theatre in the US, South America, and Canada. Mr. Hoomes has worked for many professional opera companies including Opera Lyra Ottawa, Teatro Colón, Cincinnati Opera, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera, Arizona Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Columbus. Mr. Hoomes has directed, among numerous other productions, Salome, Andrea Chenier, Tosca, The Pearl Fishers, La Bohème, Carmen, and Der Rosenkavalier for Nashville Opera; Madama Butterfly and Carmen for Kentucky Opera; Otello and Aida for Arizona Opera; The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto, and La Bohème for Opera Carolina; Don Giovanni, Elmer Gantry, and Salome for Florentine Opera; Don Giovanni for Opera Cleveland; Ernani and Jenufa for Sarasota Opera; and Turandot for Nashville Opera, Opera Columbus, Indianapolis Opera and Opera Memphis. Recently he staged the world premieres of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, (recently recorded on Naxos Records and winner of 2 Grammys; also named the #1 opera CD release by Opera News), and songwriter Marcus Hummon’s chamber opera Surrender Road. He also directed the Southeastern professional premiere of four contemporary pieces, Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse, David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass. The New York Times declared John Hoomes’ Nashville Opera world premiere production of Elmer Gantry “…An Operatic Miracle in Nashville.” The June 2010Opera News feature article acknowledged “Hoomes has proved himself one of the most interesting stage directors in the regional market today with a seemingly limitless knowledge of repertoire”.
Joe Illick has been music director and principal conductor of Fort Worth Opera since 2002. He has served as artistic director of the Lake George Opera Festival, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, and Shreveport Opera. He has also conducted for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Carolina, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, San Francisco Opera (Merola), Skylight Opera, Wiener Kammeroper, Stadttheater Aachen, Teatro Lirico d’Europa, Augusta Opera, Greater Miami Opera, Naples Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Mid-Columbia Symphony, Miami Symphony, Nevada Opera Theater, and Opera Omaha. He conducted the world premiere recordings of Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot, the same composer’s Before Breakfast, and Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls, all released on Albany Records. He was the artistic director and pianist for the Dallas-based contemporary music ensemble Voices of Change. Currently, he also serves as the executive and artistic director of the Santa Fe Concert Association, one of the major presenting organizations in the Southwest.
Charles Jarden previously held positions at The Santa Fe Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia and assisted directors for new productions at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Hong Kong May Festival and at companies throughout the US and Europe. During his tenure with American Opera Projects, he has guided the AOP’s innovative collaborations with institutions such as Lincoln Center, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the International Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, and at theatres in Germany, Vienna, Poland and the UK. Charles and AOP have received awards from OPERA America for “ten years of dynamic leadership,” and The New York City Arts and Business Council’s Encore! Award recognizing new ways to bridge for-profit and not-for-profit worlds.
Stage Director Ben Krywosz serves as artistic director of Nautilus Music Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he has directed productions of works such as The Last Five Years, Goblin Market, Into the Woods, Hearts on Fire, and Snow Leopard. He also produces the company’s Rough Cuts program, a monthly series of new operas and other forms of music-theater. Mr. Krywosz has also staged productions for The Minnesota Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, North Star Opera, Opera Roanoke, California Coast Opera, Midwest Opera Theater, Dorian Opera Theater, and West Bay Opera. His academic works include productions of Into the Woods, Saturn Returns, and My Fair Lady for Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids; Weird Romance for Augsburg College, and Così fan tutte for the University of Iowa. He developed and continues to direct composer-librettist opera studios around the country. From 1984–1987, Mr. Krywosz was Project Director for Opera America’s Opera for the 80s and Beyond program, where he concentrated on introducing the professional opera field to the work of innovative music-theater artists.
Andreas Mitisek is Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera (LBO) since 2003 and General Director of Chicago Opera Theater (COT) since 2012. As LBO’s Artistic & General Director, he is the driving force behind every new LBO concept and production. He creates the vision for each production and reaches out to artists to shape each work. He is conductor, stage director, and designer of many LBO productions. His site-specific productions in parking garages, swimming pools, night clubs, warehouses, and the Port of Los Angeles have become a successful hallmark of LBO. Andreas Mitisek became LBO's principal conductor in 1998 and Artistic and General Director in 2003. Under Mitisek’s leadership, LBO grew from 2 to 5 operas per season, and the supporting operating budget has expanded from $430,000 in 2003, to $1.5M in 2013, season subscriptions have increased by over 500%. By exploring unorthodox venues, he has been able to attract new audiences for opera and uphold LBO’s artistic vision by presenting 20th century and rare works. Mitisek serves on the board of directors for OPERA America, the national service organization for US opera companies. He has been named by Opera News as one of the 25 people that will be a major force in the field of opera in the coming decade. Mitisek was named LA Tastemaker by LA Times Magazine in 2009, Arts Leader of the Year by the Long Beach Arts Council in 2009 and was highlighted as one of the “2012 People” by LA Weekly. A native of Austria, he served as Music Director of the Wiener Operntheater from 1990–1997, the foremost contemporary opera company in Austria. Mr. Mitisek has conducted at the Wiener Volksoper, the Komische Oper in Berlin, the festival "Wien Modern", the Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein, and others. He is also sought after as a guest conductor in North America, leading productions for the Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Vancouver Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of St. Louis among others.
Established in 2006 in New York City, Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) identifies and supports the work of emerging and established living composers and their multi-media collaborators through the commission, development, production, and touring of their works, which take the form of contemporary music-theatre, opera-theatre, and multi-media concert works. BMP has established itself as a composers’ producer that “is producing some of the most exciting music-theatre projects in the city." (New Yorker) BMP has commissioned, developed and produced more than 24 operas and music-theatre projects that have premiered or been performed in New York, across the country and around the globe. BMP’s ability to recognize emerging talent, invest in the vision of living composers and their collaborators, and partner with presenters to bring new work to life has allowed it to become vital in the landscape of new music and opera.
With a diverse and adventurous repertoire of symphonic and ensemble works as well as more than 60 operas, conductor Timothy Myers is proving himself as an intrepid young maestro with his finger on the pulse of today’s musical world. His commanding performances of the core repertoire are enhanced by his passion for fusing genres and styles, and his personal warmth and approachability forge connections with audiences internationally. His recent debut with the Chautauqua Symphony in a program of Wagner, Korngold, and Tchaikovsky was lauded for “an effulgent lyricism within a tightly controlled, precisely conceived performance” (Chautauquan Daily). His work has also been described as “a treasure” (Boston Globe), “wonderfully precise, energetic” (Denver Post), “keenly responsive to nuance of rhythm or phrasing” (Independent South Africa), and “undeniably fine” (Palm Beach Daily News). As the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of North Carolina Opera, Myers is one of the youngest artistic leaders in American Opera. His artistic vision has broadened the company’s repertoire to include a wider variety ranging from Handel to Glass, as well as the creation of innovative and stimulating productions of the classic repertoire that have garnered national and international acclaim. Their engagements have included the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, the North Carolina and Milwaukee symphony orchestras, the Wolf Trap and Central City festivals, and numerous other projects spanning four continents. In 2009 Myers was appointed by his mentor Lorin Maazel as the first ever Associate Conductor of the Castleton Festival, where during his two-year tenure he was entrusted with multiple symphonic and opera performances. In 2012, Myers completed a three-year term as Principal Guest Conductor of Opera Africa in Johannesburg, where over his tenure he conducted nearly 30 performances and assisted the company in artistic development. Myers has been engaged for assistant/associate positions with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, London BBC Symphony, and was also the principal guest conductor and artistic advisor of the Palm Beach Symphony. For two seasons, Myers was the assistant conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, conducting the orchestra at the Bard Music Festival and for special performances in New York City. He has also conducted the Jerusalem Symphony, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the opera companies of Palm Beach, Anchorage and Asheville, and Music Academy of the West.
Steven Osgood's work has become known for its distinct musical incisiveness and dramatic insights. He has worked extensively with contemporary composers, conducting the world premieres of Tan Dun's Peony Pavilion, Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar, Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song, Daron Hagen’s Little Nemo in Slumberland, and Xenakis' Oresteia, as well as major revivals of Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox, John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, Tan Dun's Marco Polo, Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke and A Month in the Country, and Stephen Schwartz's Seance on a Wet Afternoon. He has been an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera since 2006, mounting the world premiere of Tan Dun's The First Emperor, and productions of Satyagraha and Nixon in China. He has conducted standard opera repertoire at Edmonton Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Opera Memphis, among others. As artistic director of American Opera Projects from 2001 until 2008, he created the company's Composers and the Voice Workshop Series. Osgood conducted Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox at the 2011 Fort Worth Opera Festival.
Named a “Face to Watch” in 2012 by the Los Angeles Times, Yuval Sharon has been creating an unconventional body of work exploring the interdisciplinary potential of opera. His productions have been described as “dizzyingly spectacular” (New York Magazine), “magical” (The Village Voice), and “ingenious” (San Francisco Chronicle). Yuval directed a landmark production of John Cage Song Books at the San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall with Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman. He also founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Industry, and experimental opera company in Los Angeles, where his inaugural production of Anne LeBaron’s hyperopera Cresecent City was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “groundbreaking” and” reshaping LA opera”. Yuval was Project Director for four years of New York City Opera’s VOX, an annual workshop for new American opera, which become the most important crucible for new opera in the country under his direction. He has also worked with international houses like the San Francisco Opera, the Mariinsky Theater, the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, and the Komische Oper Berlin, as well as experimental venues like Le Poisson Rouge, Berkeley Opera, and the Deitch Projects. He was assistant director to Achim Freyer on the Los Angeles Ring Cycle and Associate Director of the world premiere of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht with Graham Vick for the London 2012 Cultural Olympics.
Kim Whitener is Producing Director at HERE in New York City, working in partnership with Artistic Director Kristin Marting to curate and produce all of HERE's activities, and is Co-Artistic Director of the new PROTOTYPE opera-theatre festival, a collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects. She is a reviewer for the Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program, and has served on the NYSCA Individual Artists Panel, the Duke Continuing Innovation panel, the TCG Future Generations/New Audiences panel, the LMCC Swing Space Panel, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center Residency panel, and three rounds of the Ensemble Theatre Collaborations Grant Panel administered by Arts Presenters, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Keith A. Wolfe, managing director and artistic administrator of Fort Worth Opera, has served a critical role in developing training programs for young artists, including the development of the Fort Worth Opera Studio, a partnership program with Texas Christian University, and formulating “The Ten Commandments of Auditions” with General Director Darren K. Woods, which was featured in Classical Singer magazine. Recent programs include strategic planning for singers in master classes and seminars, and serving as a panelist for OPERA America. Previously, Wolfe was General Manager for seven years of the Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York, the U.S.’s oldest young artist training program, where he has since returned to conduct Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata, and workshops of Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls and Joe Illick’s Bliss. Prior to moving into arts administration, he performed with the Virginia Opera, the Washington Opera, the Virginia Symphony, the Shreveport Symphony, and the Virginia Pro Musica.
Robert Wood founded UrbanArias in 2009, with the idea of creating a company that would produce contemporary opera with excellent casts in small venues. In fact, UrbanArias produces only work written within the last 40 years, and only works that are under 90 minutes in length. By eliminating the perceived barriers of length and language, UrbanArias attracts newcomers to the art form, while producing work of a quality that attracts regular opera goers. UrbanArias produced a festival of three operas in 2011, featuring Elizabeth Futral in Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice, and Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied; UrbanArias commissioned and premiered Conrad Cummings and Michael Korie's Positions 1956 in 2012. Robert Wood's conducting credits include his debut at the San Francisco Opera in 2004, and productions at Minnesota Opera, Vancouver Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, and Opera Colorado ranging from Rossini to Rusalka.