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2010-2011 Resident Artists Announced For American Lyric Theater

American Lyric Theater (ALT) announces that eight new Resident Artists have been selected for ALT's nationally acclaimed Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP) in New York City.

Recently recognized for artistic excellence by the National Endowment for the Arts, the CLDP is the only full-time professional mentorship initiative for operatic writers in the country. The CLDP is a tuition free program that includes a core curriculum of classroom training and hands-on workshops with some of the country's leading working artists, including composer/librettist Mark Adamo, conductor/vocal coach Lucy Arner, composer Daniel Catán, composer Anthony Davis, dramaturg Cori Ellison, librettist Michael Korie, librettist William Hoffman, and stage director Rhoda Levine.

During the 2010-2011 season, ALT will welcome four new librettists and four new composers to the CLDP: librettists Tony Asaro, Rochelle Bright, Maggie-Kate Coleman, and David Simpatico; and composers Christopher Cerrone, Gerald Cohen, Justine F. Chen, and Nkeiru Okoye. In addition, four composers and three librettist return to the CLDP to continue development of full length works: Jorge Sosa, who is working on LA REINA, a bilingual (Spanish/English) opera for acoustic and electronic performing forces; as well as composers Jeff Myers, Jay Anthony Gach, and Patrick Soluri, and librettists Quincy Long, Royce Vavrek, and Deborah Brevoort, who are working on THE POE PROJECT, a trilogy of one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. Full biographies of ALT's Resident Artists may be found online at

Artists for the CLDP were selected from over 100 applicants by members of ALT's faculty and artistic staff. Producing Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson explained that, "these writers come from a diverse spectrum of musical and theatrical backgrounds which we feel is crucial in creating a new body of operatic repertoire for contemporary audiences. While many of these artists are already quite accomplished in their respective fields, they are all emerging as operatic writers. We are very excited to be working with these gifted artists, and look forward to seeing what they will bring to the future of opera."

This season, the CLDP will be held in residence at the headquarters of OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, in New York City. By partnering with OPERA America, ALT looks forward to providing Resident Artists with exceptional workshop facilities, additional educational resources, as well as crucial networking opportunities with industry leaders from around the country.

While the majority of ALT's programs take place behind the scenes, two performance events will take place this fall to introduce Resident Artists and their work to New York City audiences.

As part of National Opera Week, on Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 7:00 PM, ALT will present a concert reading of THE POE PROJECT: three one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe: BURIED ALIVE by Jeff Myers and Quincy Long; ...OF THE FLESH by Jay Anthony Gach and Royce Vavrek; and EMBEDDED by Patrick Soluri and Deborah Brevoort. The operas of this exciting new trilogy are not simply adaptations of Poe stories. Under the mentorship of Michael Korie, ALT asked these writers: What might Poe write if he were alive today? The chilling results will be performed in concert at Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street) with a cast including soprano Caroline Worra, soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine, mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel, tenor Chad A. Johnson, baritone Christopher Burchett, and bass Kevin Burdette. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $16 on the day of the performance, and are available from or by calling (212) 864-5400.

In December, ALT launches the new FRESHLY BREWED series. These informal monthly concerts will feature a light brunch with Resident Artist composers and librettists, and performances of excerpts from their works-in-progress. The first FRESHLY BREWED will take place at OPERA America (330 7th Avenue at 29th Street, 16th Floor) on Sunday, December, 12th at 1:00 PM. Tickets must be purchased in advance for $15 and include brunch and the concert. Tickets are available online from or by calling (212) 868-4444. Casting for December's FRESHLY BREWED, and additional concerts for the winter and spring of 2011, will be announced later this fall.


American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded by Lawrence Edelson in 2005 to build a new body of operatic repertoire for new audiences by nurturing composers and librettists, developing sustainable artistic collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. ALT is not an opera company by any traditional definition. 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 programs focus 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 2006, ALT commissioned its first main stage work: THE GOLDEN TICKET, a new opera based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by American composer Peter Ash. After Ash and his librettist partner, Donald Sturrock, began independent development of this opera, ALT commissioned its completion with Felicity Dahl, and provided a supportive mentorship environment for three years. Under a new collaborative producing model, ALT developed a partnership with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to present the world premiere of THE GOLDEN TICKET, which took place in June 2010 to tremendous critical and audience acclaim. The European Premiere of THE GOLDEN TICKET will take place this October at Ireland's Wexford Festival Opera, and discussions are currently underway for additional presentations of the opera at multiple cities in the United States. In 2009, ALT initiated a second main stage commission, THE POE PROJECT: a trilogy of one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe being written by six Resident Artists from ALT's Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP). Since launching the CLDP in 2007, ALT has provided intensive personalized mentorship to 17 gifted emerging artists. Currently, ALT is developing two additional full-length operas, and welcomes 8 new Resident Artists to the CLDP in the 2010-11 season.

The Composer Librettist Development Program is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The ASCAP Foundation - Joseph and Rosalie Meyer Fund and The Dorothy Loudon Foundation. THE POE PROJECT was commissioned by ALT with assistance from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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