The Changing Face of Opera

February seemed to come even quicker than in years past. Why? Consider the fact that the scenery is changing quickly in the opera world; opera companies are getting leaner in every aspect and, thus, our artistic world is moving at a faster pace. Several companies have begun testing experimental diets (or trimming down) of sorts: some are eating better for their blood types (Opera Memphis Becoming ‘Test Lab’); some are cutting back on too many indulgences (Tulsa Opera ends Saturday performances); and some are even tightening their belt on their entire image (Opera Company of Philadelphia is now Opera Philadelphia) – This everything-micro trend is a fad, we predict, that will see it’s way through all of 2013 and most likely beyond. Now before anyone starts thinking back to the supposed “golden age” of everything-grandiose opera and pining for the past, let’s look at what we have before us.

It seems every other week a company announces added focus for the creation of new works and, of course, it’s fantastic when they do, but this week a certain company entirely devoted to expanding the opera repertory made an even deeper commitment: American Lyric Theater, based in New York City, is best known for it’s Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP). Since 2007 they have offered CLDP, a tuition-free program where opera composers and librettist can explore their creative genius and love for opera under the guidance of some of the country’s leading artists. American Lyric Theater announced this week that they are expanding their program where emerging artists with an interest in writing for the opera stage will be able to participate CLDP, regardless of where they live in the country.

The Golden Age has passed but the Repertory Renaissance has begun.

American Lyric Theater has given us The Golden Ticket, a vastly successful opera, as well as roughly a dozen other operas of varying size and success. One of the operas they’ve co-created that we are highly anticipating, La Reina (we had a sneak peek this past summer), is also a testament of their devotion to the expansion of the operatic repertoire. The new changes to the CLDP American Lyric Theater will amplify their devotion as they will be able to reach well beyond New York City. In so doing, we think it will break down any borders or boundaries that are restricting this renaissance, a renaissance that is just dying to take flight.

From now until April 1, 2013, applications for the 2013-2014 CLDP are open. Please spread the word! You can read the full press release and the details surrounding the new CLDP on the American Lyric Theater website.

Getting Leaner in the City of Brotherly Love

‘Leaner’ doesn’t always mean less gravitas or less productions. Opera Company of Philadelphia is now Opera Philadelphia. In a statement on their website General Director, David Devan, states “Since 2006, Opera Philadelphia has moved quickly to diversify its repertoire, identify and cultivate rising new talent, and present innovative programs, all in an effort to connect with people in powerful ways.”

Their move to drop “Company” from their name/logo is a significant illustration of their commitment to what many opera lovers have learned to love in Opera Philadelphia’s recent years: innovation and change in order to connect. From their viral videos (Random Acts of Culture) to their comprehensive Composer In Residence program, Philly is an up-and-coming city of operatic envy.

What’s Happening This Week in Opera?

You can always check out our opera calendar to see what performances are happening all across the United States – we are updating it everyday.

What are you looking forward to this week? Have any topics or news that you’d like to share? Use the comment section below and let us know!

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