FWOpera Announces Call for Submissions for Frontiers 2014
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by BWW News Desk
Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) announced today a call for submissions for its second annual Frontiers new works showcase to be held during the 2014 Fort Worth Opera Festival. A pioneering leader in the production of contemporary opera, FWOpera launched Frontiers in the 2012-2013 season. One of the only programs world-wide designed to seek out unproduced works by up-and-coming composers from North, South, and Central America, the showcase provides composers and librettists a platform by which to gain exposure for their pieces in a live performance environment while also affording them valuable networking opportunities with industry professionals, including artistic directors of opera companies, artist managers, classical music publishers, funding organizations, and conductors.
Composer and librettist teams whose works are selected for the Frontiers 2014 showcase will be in residence during the 2014 Festival. While in Fort Worth, they will attend the showcase, participate in the final rehearsals of their work open to the public, and engage in post-performance discussions with panelists and audience members. Selected composers and librettists will also receive feedback on their piece through private meetings with the Frontiers jury panel and will have a recording of their work provided to assist them further in their compositional process.
Building on the inaugural season's established model, the Frontiers 2014 showcase will be expanded with the goal of specifically seeking out works for future production in FWOpera's popular alternative venue series Opera Unbound, which presents new or rarely-performed works by contemporary composers. The program's selection panel will now include collaborative partners who will play a critical role in the long-term development of the Frontiers works to help ensure their future development. Notable partners 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). Returning panelists will include Mark Adamo, Steven Osgood, Lawrence Edelson (American Lyric Theater), Darren K. Woods, (FWOpera General Director), Kurt Howard (Producing Director and Frontiers Curator), Joe Illick (FWOpera Music Director), and Keith Wolfe (FWOpera Managing Director).
In announcing the second year of Frontiers, FWOpera General Director Darren K. Woods stated, "With the announcement of our 10-year artistic vision Opera of the Americas earlier this year, FWOpera reaffirmed to the world its passion and commitment to the production of contemporary opera. We believe it is our mission to find and embrace those unique composers who possess an unmatched ability to communicate with their audiences. We are specifically looking to develop those works that have a global impact as told through personal stories. Frontiers allows us an unparalleled resource for finding these burgeoning works and their talented creators. Going forward, we'll work hand-in-hand with our collaborating partners to help the Frontiers composers continue to cultivate their works, while ensuring their performance beyond our Festival venue."
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 2014 Showcase. Six to eight pieces will be selected and showcased. Composers and librettists must attend the rehearsal and showcase during the 2014 Festival (May 5-10, 2014). 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 2015 competition. Additional submission requirements follow below the panel information.
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 debuting in 2013 that will shine 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 (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 $2.25 million in expense per season. Premieres include Frau Margot (Pasatieri), Before Night Falls (Martín), A Wrinkle in Time (Larsen), and JFK (Little/Vavrek).
Mark Adamo's operas include two commissions from Houston Grand Opera: Little Women, (1998) after the Louisa May Alcott novel, introduced, revived, telecast, and released on DVD by HGO and subsequently given over 75 distinct U.S. and international engagements; and Lysistrata, (2005) after Aristophanes, introduced by HGO and presented by, among others, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, and, most recently by Fort Worth Opera in spring 2012. This season sees premières of chamber works for Thomas Hampson, the Jupiter String Quartet, New York Festival of Song, and the Constella Festival, and concludes with the première in June 2013 of his third opera, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, commissioned by San Francisco Opera.
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 2010 Opera 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 is also 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.
Beth Morrison established Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) in 2006 in New York City. 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.
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.
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.
Frontiers 2014 Submission Information:
Applications must be submitted between February 1 and May 31, 2013.
Please contact Kurt Howard, Curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for submission address and information. All application materials must be submitted electronically through the Frontiers web portal. 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. Payments will be made with the application submission online. Fort Worth Opera retains the right to select fewer than six works for the showcase. More details are available at www.fwopera.org/frontiers.
Fort Worth Opera's upcoming 2013 Festival season runs April 20-May 12, 2013, and offers Puccini's tragic drama, La Bohème; Donizetti's spirited switched-at-birth romantic comedy, The Daughter of the Regiment; and the company's first-ever production of Strauss' entertaining and comedic opera-within-an-opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, all performed in the company's artistic home, Bass Hall. The company's popular alternative venue series, newly-titled Opera Unbound, will feature the regional premiere of American composer Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied, to be held in the McDavid Studio across from Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth. An emotion-packed, landmark work based on the bestselling book by journalist Tom Philpott, Glory Denied tells the tragic, true story of America's longest-held Vietnam prisoner-of-war, Colonel Jim Thompson. Nine singers will make their company debuts in lead roles this spring. Please note that the company's 67th season and seventh festival is one month earlier than previous seasons as it moves to its new time.
Tickets for the 2013 Festival can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the Fort Worth Opera Box Office inside the Fort Worth Community Arts Center at 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth, Texas, 76107. Season subscriptions start at $35 while single tickets start at $25. For more information, please visit www.fwopera.org or call 817.731.0726 or toll-free at 1.877.396.7372. To purchase tickets online, go to www.fwopera.org.
ABOUT FORT WORTH OPERA: Founded in 1946, Fort Worth Opera is the oldest continually performing opera company in Texas, and one of the 14 oldest opera companies in the United States. Under the leadership of General Director Darren K. Woods since 2001, the organization has gained national attention from critics and audiences alike for its artistic quality and willingness to take risks. Known throughout the operatic world as a champion of new and rarely-performed works, the company has taken a leadership role in producing contemporary operas. In 2007, when the company changed its fall/winter schedule to a condensed one-month long Festival in the spring, FWOpera staged its first world premiere, Frau Margot; and followed up the next season with Angels in America (which resulted in More Life: the Art and Science of AIDS, a community-wide collaboration amongst organizations in the performing and visual arts, children's education, medicine, and social services), Dead Man Walking in 2009, the world premiere of Before Night Falls in 2010, and Hydrogen Jukebox in 2011. The 2012 Festival stages the regional premieres of Mark Adamo's Lysistrata and Jake Heggie's Three Decembers, the first time the two composers' works have been co-programmed. The company's CD recordings of Frau Margot and Before Night Falls are available on the Albany label.
Established in 2002, the Fort Worth Opera Studio is a year-round training program for emerging young artists who are cast from annual national auditions. In addition to receiving professional training while in Fort Worth, the singers also perform in the Children's Opera Theatre, the company's educational program that tours fully costumed, portable operas to elementary schools. COT performances span the whole state of Texas and reach as many as 50,000 children a year, many of whom have no other access to arts education. Since 2007, attendance of Festival performances by out-of-town audiences has grown almost 5%. The local economy has also benefitted, with over 1,900 hotel rooms booked for the last Festival alone. The company has balanced its budget for the seventh consecutive year.
Fort Worth boasts a unique mix of western culture, urban sophistication, and fine art. The city is home to world-renowned arts organizations such as the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. On the other end of the spectrum, the city sponsors daily cattle drives through its Stockyards district, hosts equestrian and livestock events throughout the year, and is home to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Downtown Fort Worth is a lively spot for residents and tourists; attractions include fine dining, shopping, night life, and the opera house, the acclaimed Bass Performance Hall.