Last week it was announced that Opera America will be awarding Discovery Grants to seven women composers in support of the development of their operas. The Opera Grants for Female Composers program is funded by The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, which also funds the EarShot Grants.
The 2015 winners are:
Kitty Brazelton – The Art of Memory
Laura Karpman – Balls
Patricia Leonard – My Dearest Friend
Jing Jing Luo – Ashima
Odaline de la Martinez – Imoinda
Kamala Sankaram – The Privacy Show
Su Lian Tan – Lotus Lives
This is the second year of this funding – last year saw eight winners. Opera Grants for Female Composers uses a two year cycle, focusing alternatively on Discovery Grants, awarded directly to composers, and Commissioning Grants, which are awarded to opera companies. More information about the Commissioning Grant application will be available in December 2015 – check out the Opera America website for details.
This initiative is exciting because even though there is no lack of operas composed by women, it is still incredibly rare to hear any of these works performed, especially by a major opera company. We’ll look forward to the premieres of these works, and more commissions to come!