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Chicago Opera Theater opens applications for Vanguard Initiative Emerging Opera Composer Program

Chicago Opera Theater opens applications for its Vanguard Initiative Emerging Opera Composer Program for the September 2022 - April 2024 cycle.

Chicago Opera Theater’s (COT) Vanguard Emerging Opera Composer Program is a two-year development program that places an emphasis on building skills and connections for emerging opera composers in Chicago and the Midwest. Composers in the program will have established and demonstrable skills in instrumental composition, vocal composition, and orchestration (whether “traditional” or non-traditional), and will have a strong interest in dramatic storytelling through music, but may or may not have experience with opera or theatrical production. During the program residency, composers are required to reside in the greater Chicago area.

Each year, COT will invite one Emerging Composer to join the company for a two-year residency, to coincide with two COT production seasons. At any given time, there will be a total of two composers in residence – one in their first year and one in their second. All events, performances, rehearsals, and conferences attended will be followed by debrief/feedback sessions with the composers and COT leadership. Composers’ activities during their two-year participation in the program will be tailored to a given composer’s needs and re-evaluated regularly.
Activities will include:
• Regular observation of COT mainstage production, music, staging, orchestra, and technical rehearsals and access to all COT performances
• Participation in individual sessions with key artists on each COT mainstage production, including access to composers and librettists in addition to directors, conductors, and singers.
• Direct and ongoing individual guidance by COT’s Staley Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya, including monthly meetings to discuss and work through analysis of canonic operatic repertoire
• Involvement in COT leadership artistic planning sessions, at which composers will observe the decision-making process, evaluation, and discussion of possible projects for the company’s future seasons.
• In the second year, an opportunity to compose a full one act chamber opera (60-90 minutes, with Pierrot-sized or similar chamber ensemble) written with an experienced, working opera librettist and guided by a highly-qualified dramaturg. Composers will workshop the opera with COT’s Staley Music Director and Young Artists, as well as select guest artists where appropriate. COT will present 1-2 public performances of the opera to culminate the composer’s time with the program, and will distribute the piece to other opera producers as appropriate
• Regular access to performances or dress rehearsals for other Chicago area opera companies and music organizations (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Haymarket Opera Company, and others)
• Invitation to COT board meetings as appropriate.
• Access to COT administrative staff for guidance regarding non-musical areas such as personal branding and marketing, working with publishers, networking within the field, etc.
• Observation of work sessions with COT’s Staley Music Director, Roosevelt University faculty, and COT/Roosevelt Young Artists to participate with singers learning new material in a non- rehearsal environment.
• Attendance at the OPERA America New Works Forum in January of each year, and/or the OPERA America Annual Conference in May/June of each year.

Application Requirements:
• Cover letter explaining why the candidate feels passionately about dramatic storytelling and why they are interested in COT’s Vanguard Initiative program specifically
• Detailed resume or CV, including any experience as a performer and any other experience related to opera
• List of repertoire composed and performed, including performing ensembles
• Sample scores, including examples of vocal writing and of instrumental writing for an ensemble of at least 7-10 players (some examples of writing for larger orchestral forces preferred, but not required). The inclusion of recordings or other materials as part of the application is accepted, but not required.
• Contact information for 3-5 references

All materials should be emailed to by 11:59am December 1, 2021. If you have submitted materials in the past we encourage you to resend them with updated and current information.

Chicago Opera Theater is committed to enhancing diversity within our organization and the field of opera more broadly. Composers from underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply.

For more information on the program please visit: https://chicagooperatheater.or...

Deadline: 11.30.2021
Name: Chicago Opera Theater
Address: PO Box 180120 Chicago, IL 60618
Phone: 312-704-8414