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The Atlanta Opera's 96-Hour Opera Project is Seeking BIPOC Composers and Librettists

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The winning team will be awarded a commission to write an opera for The Atlanta Opera to premiere and $10,000 in cash.

The Atlanta Opera's 96-Hour Opera Project is Seeking BIPOC Composers and Librettists

The Atlanta Opera unveiled the 96-Hour Opera Project, a composition competition in which teams of composers and librettists have four days to write, cast, direct and stage completely new and compelling 10-minute operas.

The winning team will be awarded a commission to write an opera for The Atlanta Opera to premiere and $10,000 in cash.

Designed specifically for composers and librettists from historically underrepresented communities, the competition is only open to those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Arab-American, Latin-American or other communities of color.

The competition will be hosted in partnership with Morehouse College, School of Music. The finals will be open to the public and will be held at the Ray Charles Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, June 20, 2022. The finals will include a special commemorative performance honoring the Juneteenth holiday.

Internationally renowned bass and Atlanta native Morris Robinson will serve as the artistic advisor for this year's competition, working with creative teams throughout the competition as well as serving as one of the judges.

"Projects like this one are necessary in order to move the needle for composers and librettists of color," said Robinson. "I'm proud to be part of a company that is doing this work."

Applications for 96-Hour Opera Project open Dec. 1, 2021. More information on the process and application timeline can be found at atlantaopera.org/competition. The four-day competition runs from June 17 to June 20. Every participant is guaranteed an honorarium and travel and lodging support. There is no application fee.

"The diversity of Atlanta-racial, ethnic, cultural-is the reason for the vibrancy and richness of this city. We want diversity to be a vital part of every aspect of our company and reflect the city we call home," said Tomer Zvulun, the company's Carl W. Knobloch Jr. General and Artistic Director. "This new initiative will achieve two major goals: sharing inspirational stories that reflect the multicultural history of Atlanta and amplifying the voices of diverse artists."

Each creative team will be assigned a story drawn from Georgia's past and present based on materials provided by this year's "Stories that Resonate" partners, representative nonprofit organizations with storytelling at their core.

The Atlanta Opera provides singing talent, a pianist and a director to assist with staging, plus, a treasure trove of background information from the Stories that Resonate partner organizations to spark imagination.

In partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting, The Atlanta Opera Film Studio will produce a mini-series using filmed portions of the competition and supplemental interviews that will be shown on GPB stations across the state and online.

For more information, visit atlantaopera.org.


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