CCM and Cincinnati Opera are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for two Opera Fusion: New Works workshops to be held October 18-28 and November 5-15, 2012. Opera Fusion: New Works, a program designed to foster the development of new American operas, is made possible by a three-year, $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Now in its second year, Opera Fusion: New Works offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency. The program is hosted jointly by Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera, making use of both organizations’ talent, personnel and facilities. The chosen composer or composer/librettist team, who will be selected through a national application process, will receive an honorarium, round-trip transportation and accommodations for the duration of the workshop. The program is led by co-artistic directors Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera at CCM.
The goal of Opera Fusion: New Works is to provide an environment where the composer or composer/librettist team can focus on the development of their work. The residency environment is designed to be both inspiring and collaborative, in order to encourage exploration, innovation and artistic growth. At the conclusion of the workshop, the piece will be presented to an invited audience, including representatives from opera companies and potential co-producers, with the intent of shepherding the work through the next steps of its development. In some cases, a piece may be invited to return for a second developmental workshop the following year.
In 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works awarded its first workshop to composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in support of their new opera Doubt. Doubt, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Shanley, was developed in its earliest stages during the 10-day workshop in November 2011. The program provided a cast of both principal singers and chorus from the CCM Opera program, and renowned conductor Gary Wedow and stage director Robin Guarino worked with the composing team, students, and professional accompanists to bring the piece to life. The workshop culminated in two free public performances of the work in progress.
The intensive Opera Fusion: New Works residency was a highly valuable experience for the creators of Doubt. “Our time at the Opera Fusion: New Works program was a great help for librettist John Patrick Shanley and me,” said Cuomo. “We went there early in the writing process, and being able to hear our work at that point informed us in many valuable ways, giving us much guidance as to how we would proceed with the writing and collaboration. Working with Robin Guarino, the students at CCM, and Marcus Küchle and the staff of Cincinnati Opera was great; they were completely focused on giving us what we specifically needed.”
Shanley concurred, saying: “The Opera Fusion: New Works program is a strong step in the creation of a new work. It creates deadlines, excitement, and an enlightening event. I recommend it!”
The workshop also provides an excellent opportunity for the CCM students cast in these brand-new roles. “What was incredible about the experience was that my interpretation of the material directly influenced the creative team as they moved forward with their opera,” said baritone Jonathan Stinson, who sang the role of Father Flynn. “It’s a great opportunity to be directly involved in the creation of an opera, when so much of our careers are spent performing operas that have been set in stone for so long.”
How to Apply
Application to the Opera Fusion: New Works program is open to composers or composer/librettist teams of proven artistic merit who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. There are no age restrictions. The program seeks applicants with operatic works which are either completed or already in progress, and which have not yet had a professional premiere. Works will be reviewed and selected by the program’s co-artistic directors, along with an advisory board made up of artists and professionals from the world of opera and theater.
Applications for the 2012 workshops are due May 18, 2012. An announcement of the selected works will be made on July 15, 2012. There are two workshops in 2012: October 18-28, 2012, and November 5-15, 2012.
For more information or to apply, please visit www.cincinnatiopera.org.