Opera On The Avalon Introduces Innovative Young Artist/New Commission Series

The Young Artist/New Commission Series is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to empower emerging artists.

By: Mar. 26, 2024
Opera On The Avalon Introduces Innovative Young Artist/New Commission Series
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Opera on the Avalon has announced the launch of the Young Artist/New Commission Series, an ambitious initiative within its Young Artist Program aimed at redefining the future of opera and musical theatre. This series is a bold step towards disrupting traditional boundaries and cultivating a new wave of opera talent, underscoring the organization's reputation as an innovator in the performing arts.

Since its inception, Opera on the Avalon has challenged the conventions of opera and song repertoire, consistently pushing the envelope with creative programming and a commitment to addressing contemporary themes. Founded with the goal of bringing transformative opera and musical theatre experiences to Atlantic Canada, Opera on the Avalon has established itself as a beacon of artistic innovation and excellence.

The Young Artist/New Commission Series is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to empower emerging artists by providing them with the tools, platforms, and opportunities to develop their craft. Participants in this inaugural series include Soprano Lucie Martin, Mezzo-Soprano Camila Montefusco, Tenor Michael Eusebio, Baritone Luka Kawabata, and Librettist Mado Christie, each selected for their exceptional skill and potential to contribute to the evolving landscape of opera.

Collaborating with these emerging artists are renowned composers Mark Adamo, Rene Orth, Jennifer Higdon, and Jonathan Munro, along with librettist Lila Palmer. Their involvement offers a unique mentorship opportunity, fostering artistic growth and innovation.

Artistic Director Cheryl Hickman articulates the vision behind the series: "At Opera on the Avalon, we believe in the transformative power of collaboration between young artists and renowned composers and librettists. By engaging in this dynamic interchange, we're not just exploring new territory in opera and musical theatre; We're providing a platform for emerging artists to be heard and to shape the future of these art forms. It's about amplifying their voices through innovative works and forging a legacy of creativity and exploration."

Voices of Collaboration:

Jennifer Higdon, Composer

"Since I draw all of my inspiration from the performers with whom I work, writing an aria for one of the gifted Young Artists from Opera on the Avalon is truly a joy."

Jonathan Munro, Composer

"I am honoured to be participating in this groundbreaking project. Collaborating with so many internationally-renowned artists is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that could only be made possible by Cheryl Hickman's vision, passion, and heart."

Lila Palmer, Librettist

"As an alumnus of Opera on the Avalon it is particularly meaningful to have this full circle moment as a creator, alongside such brilliant collaborators. Hickman's leadership has forged pathways for many women in the industry, and continues to create fascinating trajectories of fulfilment for artists."

Mark Adamo, Composer

"I'm delighted to join the artists of Opera on the Avalon for a project unlike any other I've done!"

Rene Orth, Composer

"I'm so excited to have a chance to work with OOTA and their exceptional young artists on this project, focusing on the unique and breath-taking landscape and stories of Newfoundland. It's truly a rarity to find artist-driven projects that allow for risk-taking and freedom to grow creatively, and I can't wait to share what our team comes up with."

Mado Christie, Librettist

"I'm so excited to be a part of this process. I can't thank OOTA enough for the opportunity to produce what will be my first libretto."

Further amplifying the reach of this pioneering series, all commissioned works will be filmed for digital broadcast under the direction of Roger Maunder, with portrait photography by David Howells, ensuring a wider audience can experience the innovative results of this collaboration in the fall.

Since its foundation in 2009, Opera on the Avalon has stood at the forefront of Newfoundland and Labrador's cultural scene, continuously pushing the boundaries of opera. The commissioning of this new series has been made possible through the generous support of the ArtsNL, Canada Arts Training Fund, The Canada Council for the Arts, the Perlin Family Foundation, the Azrieli Foundation, and the Dalglish Family Foundation.