Instead of our weekly news round-ups, we will be offering more frequent updates and commentary throughout this exciting  and important  month!

Just in time for women’s History Month, the Met Opera made their annual statement that women cannot and do not compose opera.  “In our long history, there have been two exceptions,” said the imaginary Met spokesperson, speaking of works performed in 1903 and 2016, “and they prove the rule.  It will be another 100 years or more before we experiment again with an opera composed by the fairer sex. They are not capable of achieving in this large and complex genre.”

Of course, although widely influential, the Met is wrong.  Opposing viewpoints are offered by many organizations:

Take for instance, this March 6 concert, 400 Years of Opera, featuring extended excerpts by 17th-century composers Francesca Caccini and Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre, as well contemporary works. Presented by Peabody Opera and Peabody Historical Performance department (in Baltimore), the concert is free and will also stream.

Anne LeBaron

Another exhilarating example is the CSUF (California State Univ. Fullerton) New Music Festival. The Feb. 25 concert included excerpts from Pamela Madsen’s NEA awarded opera “Why Women Went West” (with video and text by Quintan Ana Wikswo), performed by Brightwork New Music/Los Angeles (Stream available here).  The Festival continues March 9 with the Beyond Opera Collective performing works by Anne LeBaron (pictured), “Radiant Depth Unfolded” (poems by Rumi) and DISH (1990) Ode to the Sexual Battleground.  More info about the Festival is here.

So much going on!  Dr Samantha Ege will be on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday March 6: “Florence Price’s Chicago and the Black Female Fellowship” emphasizes the importance of community in supporting creative work.  The program will also be available for streaming (for a limited time).

ICYMI  on Feb. 26,  ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, of Houston) premiered Leanna Primiani’s work titled “Neither men nor money validate my worth”, which honors survivors of human trafficking. The livestream is available here and on Youtube.

Again, we are reporting frequently throughout March, so let us know what you are looking forward to this month!