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COMMENTARY – The Music Critics Association of North America will host its first webinar March 25, a panel discussion titled “New Opera Creators Consider the Future,” on contemporary opera, with a stellar lineup of opera artists and critics.
Interest in new opera was exploding just as Covid shut down live performance in 2020. What are composers, librettists, directors, educators, and producers thinking about and doing now? How have the challenges of this past year transformed their approach to the creation of new operas? What have we learned? How will the place of new work in the opera ecosystem be different? How should it be different? How do critics evaluate new operas created under unusual circumstances?
These questions and more will be discussed by our panelists, moderated by Heidi Waleson, critic with the Wall Street Journal. She is co-chair of the MCANA Best New Opera Award committee and author of Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America.
The panelists include:
Kristin Marting, producer and director of hybrid works. She is co-founder and artistic director of New York City’s Here Art Center, and co-founder and co-artistic director of the annual Prototype Festival.
Ellen Reid, composer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the MCANA Best New Opera Award for p r i s m. She is currently at work on Desert In, an episodic series commissioned by Boston Lyric Opera for operabox.tv
Alex Ross, critic with The New Yorker. He is a member of the MCANA Best New Opera Award committee and author of Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music.
Tazewell Thompson, librettist, director, educator, and winner of the MCANA Best New Opera Award for Blue. He is director of opera studies at the Manhattan School of Music.
Royce Vavrek, librettist, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Angel’s Bone and the MCANA Best New Opera Award for Breaking the Waves. He is currently at work, with composer Missy Mazzoli, on Lincoln in the Bardo, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera.