For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson; PKJohnson@operaamerica.org
www.operaamerica.org


OPERA AMERICA AND OPERA.CA ANNOUNCE 2008 OPERA FUND AWARDS

TOTAL OF $380,000 AWARDED TO TWELVE OPERA COMPANIES TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF NEW WORKS


New York, NY — OPERA America and Opera.ca recently announced the recipients of the 2007-2008 Repertoire Development and Production Awards from The Opera Fund and the Canadian Opera Creation Fund. Beginning in 1983, a core tenet of OPERA America’s mission has been a commitment to supporting the creation and development of new opera and music-theater works. Since that time, The Opera Fund and its precursor programs have awarded nearly $10.4 million in funds to companies throughout North America in support of their efforts to expand and enrich the repertoire. Recent recipients of The Opera Fund grants include such highly-acclaimed works as John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner, Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair, Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath and Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot.

Seven projects received a 2008 Development Award from The Opera Fund. Two projects received a Development Award from the Canadian Opera Creation Fund, which also funded four Production Awards. Development Awards provide financial assistance for companies’ efforts to assess and refine a work-in-progress or to revive a work after its recent premiere. Production Awards provide a portion of the direct costs of producing a work to each member of a consortium.

2007-2008 Opera Fund adjudicators included Dr. Susan H. Carlyle, founder of The Carlyle Fund; writer, director, composer and performer Rinde Eckert; composer Daron Hagen; soprano Wendy Hill; and composer Lowell Liebermann.

“New works are essential to every art form and opera is no exception,” stated Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America. “The Opera Fund helps OPERA America members to enhance the vitality of opera and music-theater in North America through the creation and production of new works, encouragement of artists who create and interpret new works and development of deeper and broader public appreciation for opera and music-theater.”

The Opera Fund is a permanent endowment which allows OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works. The Fund, launched with support from The National Endowment for the Arts in 2001, has been supported thus far by the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Canada Council for the Arts, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Lee Day Gillespie and Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach.

The Opera Fund’s 2009 Guidelines for Audience Development Awards will be available in July 2008, and will be made available to OPERA America Professional Company Members and their partners; for information, contact Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, at MYoung@operaamerica.org. For further information about the Canadian Opera Creation Fund, contact Micheline McKay, Senior Advisor, Opera.ca at M_Mckay@opera.ca

Projects receiving a Development Award from The Opera Fund include the following:

* Florentine Opera Company: Río de Sangre — $10,000; Don Davis, composer; Kate Gale, librettist
* Houston Grand Opera: Brief Encounter — $20,000; André Previn, composer; John Caird, librettist
* The Minnesota Opera: Joyeux Noël — $25,000; Kevin Puts, composer; Michael Korie, librettist
* Music-Theatre Group: Arjuna’s Dilemma — $25,000; Douglas J. Cuomo, composer; Dr. Ramananda Prasad, librettist
* Nautilus Music-Theater: The Risk of Flight — $25,000; Mary Ellen Child, composer and librettist
* Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: The Inspector General — $50,000; John Musto, composer; Mark Campbell, librettist
* San Francisco Opera: The Bonesetter’s Daughter — $25,000; Stewart Wallace, composer; Amy Tan, librettist

Projects receiving a Development Award from the Canadian Opera Creation Fund include:

* Calgary Opera: The Inventor — $25,000; Bramwell Tovey, composer; John Murrell, librettist
* Soundstreams Canada: The Children’s Crusade — $25,000; R. Murray Schafer, composer and librettist

Projects receiving a Production Award from the Canadian Opera Creation Fund include:

* Manitoba Opera: Transit of Venus — $40,000; Victor Davies, composer; Maureen Hunter, librettist
* Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company: Inês — $50,000; James Rolfe, composer; Paul Bentley, librettist
* Soundstreams Canada: Pimooteewin (The Journey) — $25,000; Melissa Hui, composer; Tomson Highway, librettist
* Tapestry New Opera Works: Sanctuary Song — $35,000; Abigail Richardson, composer; Marjorie Chan, librettist



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ABOUT OPERA AMERICA

OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.

  • Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
  • Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America’s worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 Company Members, 300 Associate and Business Members, 2,000 Individual Members and more than 16,000 subscribers to the association’s electronic news service. In 2005, OPERA America relocated from Washington, D.C. to New York as the first step in creating the first-ever National Opera Center. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, the Opera Center is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.

OPERA America’s long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and development of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund, a growing endowment which allows OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works. Since its inception, OPERA America has made grants of nearly $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works.