Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins Awarded Best New Opera from Music Critics Association of North America

Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins Awarded Best New Opera from Music Critics Association of North America

Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) announces that its 3rd Annual Award for Best New Opera has been given to composer and sound artist Ellen Reid and librettist Roxie Perkins for p r i s m.

p r i s m received its premiere as part of Los Angeles Opera's Off Grand series on November 29, 2018, commissioned and co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects. The opera, which addresses the psychological effects of surviving sexual assault, is a haunting, kaleidoscopic work of opera-theatre that traverses the elasticity of memory after trauma. Ellen Reid's music uses choral and orchestral manipulation to deliver an eerily distinct sonic world. This past April, Reid won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for p r i s m.

The MCANA Award for Best New Opera is a major recognition given annually by an Awards Committee of distinguished music critics.

After soliciting nominations from MCANA members, the finalists were chosen by an Awards Committee co-chaired by Heidi Waleson, opera critic of The Wall Street Journal, and George Loomis, longtime contributor to the Financial Times and Musical America-alongside committee members Arthur Kaptainis, who writes for the Montreal Gazette and Ludwig van Toronto; John Rockwell, former critic and arts editor of The New York Times and co-New York correspondent of Opera (UK); and Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker.

Finalists and runners up to p r i s m are An American Soldier by composer Huang Ruo and librettist David Henry Hwang; and Proving Up by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek.

In response to winning the award, Ellen Reid said: "We are overjoyed to be receiving this year's MCANA Award! It means so much to have this work resonate with a large audience at this divisive time. Thank you to all of the artists who put their life into this work, Beth Morrison, LA Opera and everyone who championed its existence in the world."

Roxie Perkins said: "Thank you so much to MCANA for this incredible award. This opera would not have been possible without the tireless, brave leadership of Beth Morrison Projects, our director James Darrah, and the rest of our collaborators who gave so much of themselves to this show. It was a risk and challenge to make p r i s m, and we are all so grateful to the critics who championed the piece."

The Award will be presented to composer and librettist on Friday, July 26, 2019 at the opening reception of the MCANA Annual Meeting, which this year is held at Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Berkshires.

Photo by Noah Stern Weber



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