OPERA AMERICA ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF
OPERA GRANTS FOR FEMALE COMPOSERS
Seven composers awarded a total of $100,000
Discovery Grants identify, support and help advance the
work of female opera composers
New York, NY—OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, is pleased to announce the recipients of Discovery Grants from the Opera Grants for Female Composers program, made possible through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. From among 61 eligible applicants, an independent adjudication panel selected seven composers to receive a total of $100,000 to support the development of their opera compositions.
The recipients of Discovery Grants are Kitty Brazelton for The Art of Memory, Laura Karpman for Balls, Patricia Leonard for My Dearest Friend, Jing Jing Luo for Ashima, Odaline de la Martinez for Imoinda, Kamala Sankaram for The Privacy Show, and Su Lian Tan for Lotus Lives. See below for composer biographies and summaries of their operas.
OPERA America has awarded nearly $13 million over the past 30 years to Professional Company Members in support of new American operas. Fewer than five percent of the organization’s grants supporting repertoire development have been awarded to works by female composers. Opera Grants for Female Composers provide support for the development of new operas by women, both directly to individual composers and to opera companies producing their work, advancing the important objective to increase diversity across the field.
The Opera Grants for Female Composers program, launched in December 2013, is implemented in two-year cycles. The focus of the program alternates between Discovery Grants, which are awarded directly to composers, and Commissioning Grants, which are given to opera companies. This recent group of Discovery Grants initiates the second cycle of granting. Discovery Grants aim to identify, support and help develop the work of female composers writing for the operatic medium, raising their visibility and promoting awareness of their compositions. In addition to receiving financial assistance, grant recipients will be introduced to leaders in the field through a feature in Opera America Magazine and at future New Works Forum meetings and annual conferences. Supported works will be considered for presentation at future annual conference New Works Samplers.
“Through this second round of Discovery Grants, we continue our commitment to supporting talented female composers and connecting them with other artists and producers who can advance their careers,” declared Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Our field will be strengthened by a more diverse repertoire that reflects the skill and sensibilities of these extraordinary composers. We are grateful to the Toulmin Foundation for enabling us to continue this important initiative.”
The independent adjudication panelists for the Discovery Grants included director Sam Helfrich, composer Laura Kaminsky, composer Libby Larsen, mezzo-soprano Margaret Lattimore, conductor Anne Manson and coach/conductor Laurie Rogers.