Opera America Launches Opera Grants for Female Composers

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, is pleased to announce the launch of a new program: Opera Grants for Female Composers, made possible through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

OPERA America has awarded nearly $13 million over 25 years to Professional Company Members in support of new American operas. Fewer than 5% of the organization's grants supporting repertoire development have been awarded to works by female composers. Opera Grants for Female Composers will provide support for the development of new operas by women, both directly to individual composers and to opera companies, advancing the important objective to increase diversity across the field.

Opera Grants for Female Composers is a two-year project, with a different focus each year. In the first year, Discovery Grants of up to $15,000 each will identify, support and help develop the work of female composers writing for the operatic medium, raising their visibility and promoting awareness of their compositions to the field. In addition to 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 as part of the New Works Forum in January 2015 and New Works Samplers at future annual conferences.

The second year of the the Opera Grants for Female Composers program will focus on Commissioning Grants. These awards will help support the commissioning and production of works by talented women composing on the stages of OPERA America Profesional Company Members. Details for this segment of the program will be announced in 2014.

"OPERA America is uniquely positioned as the field's convener and connector to advance the careers of the most talented creative artists," declared Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. "Opera Grants for Female Composers enables us to identify and support the development of new works by emerging and established female composers. By helping to increase the quality and quantity of works by female composers, we will both broaden and deepen the existing opera repertoire with exciting new works."

Applications for Discovery Grants are available now at operaamerica.org/Grants and must be submitted by February 10, 2014. Applicants must be female composers and a United States citizen or permanent resident. Membership in OPERA America is not required for this grant.

Full Opera Grants for Female Composers guidelines are available online at operaamerica.org/Grants.



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