OPERA America awards opera scholarships to female directors and conductors

OPERA America has announced the recipients of the second round of 2022 Opera Fellowships for Female Directors and Conductors. The program encourages companies to hire women in these key artistic roles. These hires enrich the production and performance of new operas and works from the legacy repertoire; introduce the public to the talent and insight of new artists; and inspire future generations of creative artists who identify as women. The initiative is generously supported by the Marineau Family Foundation.

Grants were awarded to four opera companies: The Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, NY), Houston Grand Opera (Houston, TX), Pocket Opera (San Francisco, CA) and Opera Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, NY).

The grants support the company’s debut by the following artists:

  • Chloe Treat, who will conduct Common Ground, a double bill of Taking Up Serpents (Kamala Sankaram, composer; Jerre Dye, librettist) and Holy Ground (Damien Geter, composer; Lila Palmer, librettist) at Glimmerglass Festival.
  • Louisa Muller, who will conduct The Wreckers (Dame Ethel Smyth, composer; Henry Brewster, librettist) at Houston Grand Opera.
  • Margo Hall, who will conduct A Pocket Magic Flute (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer; Donald Pippen, librettist) at Pocket Opera.
  • Emily Senturia, who will conduct Sky on Swings (Lembit Beecher, composer; Hannah Moscovitch, librettist) at Opera Saratoga.

(See below for more information on the artists.)

Opera Grants for Women Directors and Conductors open doors for emerging female artists with the goal of improving gender parity in the field. Currently, women make up less than 30% of directors and 15% of conductors working on American opera productions. “A lot of times in this industry, you accumulate experience but struggle to get into bigger theaters,” attested Chloe Treat, the grant-funded director of The Glimmerglass Opera. “Someone has to bet on you first.”

“By providing financial support to opera companies, the Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors program encourages opera companies to work with emerging artists and gives them the chance to break through,” noted Marc A. Scorca. , Chairman and CEO of OPERA America.

Members of OPERA America professional societies can apply for grants to subsidize up to 50% (up to $10,000) of the fees of female directors or conductors who are hired for the first time by the societies. occupying these positions. Grants are awarded in two semester cycles. The four companies supported by these scholarships join nine others announced in January 2022.

The Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors program is one of OPERA America’s resources aimed at increasing gender parity in the field. Other initiatives include the Opera Grants for Women Composers program, the Mentorship Program for Women Administrators and the Women’s Opera Network. Since the inception of its grant programs in the mid-1980s, OPERA America has awarded more than $20 million to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, administrators and companies.

More information about OPERA America’s grant programs is available at operaamerica.org/Grants.

The Glass Glow Festival

Chloe Treat, director

Common ground (double bill):

Taking Up Serpents by Kamala Sankaram, composer;

Jerre Dye, librettist

Holy Ground by Damien Geter, composer;

Lila Palmer, librettist

Chloe Treat is a New York director and choreographer originally from Texas. His theatrical work includes productions at Heartbeat Opera, Polyphone, Hangar Theatre, 54 Below, Mannes Opera, Manhattan School of Music and Indiana University. Treat has choreographed for Santa Fe Opera, HERE Arts Center, Yale School of Drama, and Chicago Opera Theater, among other companies. She was an associate for several theaters, including American Repertory Theatre, The Public Theater and Manhattan Theater Club, and for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway.

Houston Grand Opera

Louisa Müller, director

The Wreckers by Dame Ethel Smyth, composer; Henry Brewster, librettist

Based in Vienna, acclaimed theater director Louisa Muller has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Atlanta Opera, to name a few. She is on the faculty of Scuola di Belcanto, Urbania, and is a graduate of Lawrence University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

pocket opera

Margo Hall, Director

The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer; Donald Pippen, librettist

Margo Hall is an award-winning actress, director, playwright and educator who serves as Artistic Director of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. She was recently awarded the 2021 Kenneth Rainin Fellowship in Theater and is among the YBCA 100 Honorees. Hall’s film credits include Leslie White in All Day and a Night, Nancy in Blindspotting and the voice of Melba in Pixar’s Soul. She made her theatrical directing debut with the world premiere of Joyride, which won the Bay Area Critics Circle Winner for Best Original Screenplay. She and Ellen Chang co-directed Bulrusher, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Eisa Davis. For Chabot College, Hall directed Once on This Island, Hamlet, Ragtime and A Streetcar Named Desire, among others. In 2013 at Z Space she premiered her semi-biographical play, Be Bop Baby, a Musical Memoir, with lyrics and book by Hall and music by Marcus Shelby; the play chronicles his life growing up in Detroit with his jazz musician stepfather, who was with Motown.

Saratoga Opera

Emily Senturia, conductor

Sky on Swings by Lembit Beecher, composer; Hannah Moscovitch, librettist

In 2022, conductor Emily Senturia makes her debuts at Opera Santa Barbara (Semele), Florida Grand Opera (Fellow Travellers), Opera Saratoga (Sky on Swings), New Orleans Opera (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Minnesota Opera ( Rinaldo). Senturia made his conducting debut with Houston Grand Opera and Washington National Opera in 2018, both with Il barbiere di Siviglia. Recently, she conducted La clemenza di Tito with Opera Steamboat, La traviata and The Tragedy of Carmen with Hawaiʻi Opera Theatre, Ariadne auf Naxos with Wolf Trap Opera and Fellow Travelers with Boston Lyric Opera. She conducted the music for the world premiere of Denis & Katya at the Philadelphia Opera’s O19 Festival and has been on the musical staff of the Grand Opera of Houston, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Opera House of Atlanta, Wolf Trap Opera and the Philadelphia Opera. Senturia is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Wolf Trap, the Aspen Music Festival and the Royal Academy of Music. She studied conducting at Boston University and violin at Rice University.

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