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American Opera Projects

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Title: American Opera Projects  
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Subject: Marina Tsvetaeva, The Golden Gate (Vikram Seth novel), Anne Bogart, The Scarlet Ibis, Rusty Magee, List of North American opera companies, Annie Finch, Family Opera Initiative
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American Opera Projects

American Opera Projects (AOP) is a professional opera company based in Brooklyn, NY and is a member of OPERA America, the Fort Greene Association, and the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./NY). The company's primary mission is to develop and present new operatic and music theatre works and has gained a reputation for the "rarefied range" of the projects it fosters (Opera News, Dec 2008). AOP was founded in 1988 by Grethe Barrett Holby who served as Artistic Director of AOP from 1988 until 2001, at which point Charles Jarden became the company's Executive Director and Steven Osgood the company's Artistic Director. Steven Osgood left the post of Artistic Director in 2008 to pursue conducting full-time but remains the Artistic Director for AOP's "Composers & the Voice" program.

AOP's year-long writing fellowship, "Composers & the Voice" was created in 2002 to bring emerging operatic composers and librettists together with singers, directors, and other artists to create a series of pieces exploring the potential of theatre and the voice. Past and present mentors for the program include Mark Adamo, Mark Campbell, John Corigliano, Tan Dun, Daron Hagen, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, and Stephen Schwartz. Past participants include Clint Borzoni, David Claman, Conrad Cummings, Randall Eng, Renée Favand, Vivian Fung, Kristin Kuster, Hannah Lash, Gilda Lyons, Robert Paterson, Jack Perla, Zach Redler & Sara Cooper, and Daniel Sonenberg.

Amongst the venues and festivals where AOP productions have appeared are the Lincoln Center Festival, BAM's Next Wave Festival, the Guggenheim Museum, Symphony Space, Irondale Center, Philadelphia's Annenberg Center, Pittsburgh Opera, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, London's Royal Opera House, Berlin's Stükke Theater, Aleksander Fredro Teatr in Poland, the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival in Norway, and the Ensemble Theater am Petersplatz (de) in Vienna. It has also given many out-of-doors performances sponsored by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation. AOP won a 2005 Encore award from the Arts & Business Council of NY for its innovative work.[1]


World Premieres

As One by Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed (BAM Fisher Center, Sept 4, 2014)
Beauty Intolerable by Sheila Silver with texts by Edna St. Vincent Millay (Symphony Space, June 8, 2013)
Before Night Falls by Jorge Martin and Dolores M. Koch (Fort Worth Opera, May 29, 1010)
Brooklyn Bones by Alvin Singleton and Patricia Hampl (Nov 15, 2008)
Brooklyn Cinderella by Nkeiru Okoye (Dweck Auditorium, June 21, 2011)
Darkling by Stefan Weisman and Anna Rabinowitz (East 13th Street Theater, Feb 26, 2006)
Fade by Stefan Weisman and David Cote (NYC PREMIERE at Galapagos Art Space, July 17, 2009)
Fireworks by Kitty Brazelton and Billy Aronson (July 2, 2002)
Flurry Tale by Rusty Magee and Billy Aronson, with commissioned orchestrations by John Rinehimer (Clark Studio Theater, Dec 18, 1999)
Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom by Nkeiru Okoye (Irondale Center, Feb 21, 2014)
Heart of Darkness by Tarik O'Regan and Tom Phillips (Covent Garden, Nov 1, 2011)
Judgment of Midas by Kamran Ince and Miriam Seidel (Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Feb 12, 2013)
L'abbe Agathon by Arvo Pärt and Tarik O'Regan (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jan 11, 2009)
Love/Hate by Jack Perla and Rob Bailis (San Francisco Opera Center, April 2012)
Marina: A Captive Spirit by Deborah Drattell and Annie Finch (May 1, 2003)
Model Love by J. David Jackson based on poems by Henry Normal (Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Oct 2, 2011)
Nora, in the Great Outdoors by Daniel Felsenfeld and Will Eno (Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Oct 2, 2011)
Out Cold by Phil Kline (BAM Fisher, Oct 25, 2012)
Patience and Sarah by Paula M. Kimper and Wende Persons (John Jay College Theater, July 8, 1998)
Paul's Case by Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat (Artisphere, Apr 20, 2013)
Romulus by Louis Karchin (Guggenheim Museum, May 20, 2007)
Séance on a Wet Afternoon by Stephen Schwartz (NYC PREMIERE at New York City Opera, Apr 19, 2011)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Richard Peaslee and Kenneth Cavander (Oct 18, 2001)
The Blind by Lera Auerbach (Lincoln Center. July 9, 2013)
The Scarlet Ibis by Stefan Weisman and David Cote (HERE Arts Center, Jan 15, 2015)
This is the Rill Speaking by Lee Hoiby and Lanford Wilson (Purchase College Opera, Apr 26, 2008)
Tone Test by Nick Brooke (Lincoln Center, July 22, 2004)
Windows by Zach Redler and Sara Cooper (NYU, March 23, 2013)

Works Developed/In Development

1000 Splendid Suns by Sheila Silver and Stephen Kitsakas
African Tales by Nkeiru Okoye and Carman Moore
Alice in the Time of the Jabberwock by Daniel Felsenfeld and Robert Coover
Companionship by Rachel Peters
Decoration by Mikael Karlsson and David Floden
Eichmann in Jerusalem by Mohammed Fairouz and David Shapiro
Heinrich Heine: Doppelganger by Jacob Engel, Paula Kimper, and Nino Sandow
Henry's Wife by Randall Eng and Alexis Bernier
Independence Eve by Sidney Marquez Boquiren and Daniel Neer
Lost Childhood by Janice Hamer and Mary Azrael (STAGED WORKSHOP PREMIERE at Tel Aviv Yafo Music Center, July 29, 2007)
Marymere by Matt Schickele
Memoirs of Uliana Rooney by Vivian Fine and Sonya Friedman
Mila by Andrea Clearfield, Jean Claude Vanitaille, and Lois Walden
Numinous City by Pete M. Wyer and Melissa Salmons
Our Basic Nature by John Glover and Kelley Rourke
Prairie Dogs by Rachel Peters and Royce Vavrek
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Herschel Garfein
Semmelweis by Raymond J. Lustig and Matt Gray
Sharon's Grave by Richard Wargo, based on the play be John B. Keane
Tesla in New York by Phil Kline and Jim Jarmusch
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Paula M. Kimper
The Companion by Robert Paterson and David Cote
The Family Room by Thomas Pasatieri and Daphne Malfitano
The Golden Gate by Conrad Cummings, based on novel by Vikram Seth
The Leopard by Michael Dellaira and J.D. McClatchy
The Summer King by Daniel Sonenberg
The Walled-Up Wife by Gilda Lyons
The Wanton Sublime, formerly The Woven Child, by Tarik O'Regan and Anna Rabinowitz (NYC PREMIERE at Roulette, Apr 22, 2014)
The Weeping Camel by Huang Ruo and Candace Chong
Three Way by Robert Paterson and David Cote
Ugetsu by Michael Rose and Emily Howard
Unruly Horses based on the life and songs of Vladimir Vysotsky, conceived by Mina Yakim and Moni Yakim, with additional book by Peter Kellogg
Wolf-in-Skins, formerly The Lost Lais of Albion, by Gregory Spears, choreographed by Christopher Williams


  1. ^ "American Opera Projects". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 


  • Kozinn, Allan (December 9, 1990). "New Work by American Opera Projects". New York Times
  • Kozinn, Allan (May 6, 2003). "An Operatic Treatment Of a Russian Poet's Despair". New York Times
  • Ross, Alex (April 24, 1993). "American Operas in Progress". New York Times
  • Singer, Barry (December 2008). "Risky Business ". Opera News, Vol. 73, No. 6
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