American Lyric Theater Announces Selection Of Dramaturg Apprentices

American Lyric Theater Announces Selection Of Dramaturg Apprentices

Lawrence Edelson, Founder and Producing Artistic Director of American Lyric Theater (ALT), announced today the selection of two Dramaturg Apprentices who will join the Composer Librettist Development Program at ALT as Resident Artists for the 2018-19 season: Hannah McDermottand Katherine Pitt.

Dramaturg Apprentices will receive mentorship under the auspices of American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP), the only full time multi-year professional training program for opera composers and librettists in the country. The Dramaturg Apprenticeship within the CLPD is led by Cori Ellison, a founding member of ALT's faculty and the nation's leading opera dramaturg. Ms. Ellison has recently been appointed Santa Fe Opera's first dramaturg, but continues her dedication to the mentorship of emerging artists at ALT concurrent with her new role in Santa Fe.

"Over the past ten years, the Composer Librettist Development Program at ALT has been at the forefront of training the next generation of operatic writers," said Edelson. "Last year, we introduced the first full-time apprenticeship for an opera dramaturg in new works development, and over the course of the season, we learned a great deal about both the qualities that are needed for a dramaturg to succeed, and the resources necessary to help gifted emerging dramaturgs reach their potential. Over the summer, Cori Ellison and I have worked together to further develop the program, and to create an even more robust apprenticeship for our new dramaturg apprentices, which combines elements of our proven core-curriculum with unique opportunities to observe and participate in the development of new works at ALT. With so few qualified dramaturgs working in the field of new opera development today, we are very excited by the potential long term impact of this investment for American opera."

The Dramaturg Apprenticeship program at ALT is made possible with generous leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and OPERA America's Innovation Grants with support from The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.


HANNAH McDERMOTT is dedicated to the intersection of scholarship and art. She recently received a Master of Philosophy with distinction from the University of Oxford. At Oxford her research centered around the factors that drive individual musical taste and consumption. Her final thesis concerned live music and social-bonding in gentrifying neighborhoods in New York City. Hannah also has a background in performance. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School with a focus in vocal performance. Some of her favorite projects while at Juilliard included participating in The New York Festival of Song, and playing Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief. Her interest in performance continued at Oxford, where she sang with the Oxford University Philharmonic, and performed the roles of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Eurydice in Harrison Birtwistle's The Corridor. Hannah is excited to merge her experience both as a performer and researcher in order to further ALT's mission of supporting and inspiring new operas.

KATHERINE PITT is a dramaturg, director, and writer. She earned a B.A. from Yale in History and Theater Studies where she worked as a student archivist and producer. Ms. Pitt spent four years in Public Programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library where her work included coordinating events for the 2016 The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare celebration and serving as assistant dramaturg and assistant director on productions of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and The Way of the World (dir. Theresa Rebeck). Her independent work includes essays on The Merry Widow for Opera Saratoga, Pericles for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, and readings and productions with Seven Stages Shakespeare and Rude Grooms. Ms. Pitt has trained at RADA, Shakespeare & Company, and Double Edge, and earned All-American honors in foil fencing.


Great Operas Don't Just Happen. American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 by Lawrence Edelson to build a new body of operatic repertoire by nurturing composers and librettists, providing an incubator for their collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. Many opera companies commission and perform new works; but ALT is the only company in the United States that offers extensive, full-time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. While the traditional company model focuses on producing a season, ALT's focus is on serving the needs of composers and librettists, developing new works, and collaborating with larger producing companies to help usher those works into the repertoire. In 2012, ALT was the first company dedicated to artist mentorship rather than operatic production to be recognized by OPERA America as a Professional Company Member - a testament to ALT's service to the field. For more information about American Lyric Theater, please visit

American Lyric Theater's mentorship programs for composers and librettists and public programs in New York City are made possible by generous lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, OPERA America Innovation Grants (with support from The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation),Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New Music USA's Impact Fund (made possible with funding from The Scherman Foundation's Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund), The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, and The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University.

Related Articles View More Opera Stories

More Hot Stories For You