Composer John Mills Cockell and librettist Ken Gass’s opera Savitri & Sam was inspired by the true story of Savitri, a 17-year old high school student living in a remote Punjabi community of northern British Columbia. After her secret relationship with Sam, an 18-year old aboriginal boy of Haisla heritage is exposed she is tragically stabbed to death by her father. The story is all the more poignant because of the intense idyllic love of the young couple, who seemed so ideally suited for one another, despite their different cultural heritages.
Generously underwritten by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers showcase offers audiences a first look at the developmental processes for operas. Part of the Opera of the Americas initiative, Frontiers gives emerging composers and librettists from North, South, & Central America a platform to showcase their talents.
Six selected works will be presented at Bass Performance Hall. The 20-minute excerpts, sung by artists from the 2018 Fort Worth Opera Festival with piano accompaniment, will be offered in two separate showcases of three works each on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 7:30pm – 10:00pm and Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 7:30pm – 10:00pm. Tickets for the showcases are $10, and are on sale now.
May 2, 2018
Domestic by Ben Stevenson
Hagar and Ishmael by William David Cooper and Will Dunlap
Savitri and Sam by John Mills Cockell and Ken Gass
May 3, 2018
Mabel’s Call by Nell Shaw Cohen
Fordlandia by William Susman and Stuart Rojstaczer
Companionship by Rachel Peters
John Mills Cockell
Nell Shaw Cohen
After Mabel abandons her life in 1910’s New York as an international icon of the avant-garde, she reinvents herself in the remote desert village of Taos, New Mexico. Inspired by the life of Mabel Dodge Luhan, Mabel’s Call by Brooklyn-based composer-librettist Nell Shaw Cohen follows a fiercely unconventional woman chasing utopia and romance in the Southwest.
William David Cooper
In William David Cooper and Will Dunlap’s grand Biblical opera Hagar and Ishmael, Egyptian handmaid Hagar encounters an angel after she flees Abraham’s camp, who tells her an incredible prophecy about her son Ishmael. Sixteen years later, Ishmael learns that newborn Isaac will be Abraham’s successor, and tries to kill him. Exiled and desperate in the desert, Hagar and Ishmael find faith, freedom and a marvelous destiny.
Recovering from a nervous breakdown, aspiring baker Leslie Sinclair finally reaches the end of her obsessive quest to bake the perfect baguette when the 207,345th one suddenly comes to life. Companionship, by composer-librettist Rachel Peters, mirrors our contemporary world, where what we consume becomes all-consuming. Adapted from the short story by Arthur Phillips.
Domestic by composer-librettist Ben Stevenson is a set of two one-act operas exploring the ways that people interact when no one is watching. Act One – An Enigma – is about how people end a relationship, while Act Two – percs. – is about the hope that others can offer when things seem hopeless.
Fordlandia by composer William Susman and librettist Stuart Rojstaczer is a family drama about the struggle between Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, over the leadership and future of Ford Motor Company. Henry’s inability to relinquish the control of his company to a son he loves dearly destroys Edsel emotionally and physically. The tragedy between father and son is only mitigated by the strength and actions of their wives.
Hailed as “one of the most significant music events of the year” by D Magazine, Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers showcase has
yielded numerous regional and world premieres since its inception. Commissioned by the American Lyric Theater, Patrick Soluri
and Deborah Brevoort’s macabre, Edgar Allan Poe-inspired opera Embedded (Frontiers 2013) appeared during FWOpera’s
2016 Festival. This past season, Matthew Peterson and Jason Zencka’s critically-acclaimed, true crime opera Voir Dire (Frontiers
2014) proved to be a highlight of the company’s 2017 Festival.
Beyond North Texas, Robert Paterson and David Cote’s trio of comic, one-act operas, Three Way, premiered at Nashville Opera
and BAM Fisher in 2017, and Opera Colorado will present the world premiere of Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort’s true-life
WWII romance, Steal a Pencil for Me (Frontiers 2016) during their 2018 season. Griffin Candey and Thom Miller’s delectable
dark comedy, Sweets by Kate (Frontiers 2017), will receive its NYC premiere at the legendary Stonewall Inn in July of 2017 with
OperaRox Productions. In January of this year, Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos’ erotic opera, When Adonis Calls (Frontiers
2015), was staged as part of Opera America’s 2017 New Works Forum.
Interested and qualified candidates can obtain the submission information and address by contacting FWOpera at email@example.com. Only 15-25 minutes of a composition will be considered and all works must be submitted by 11:59 pm July 31, 2018.
Between six and eight compositions will be selected for participation in the 2019 Frontiers showcase. There is a $25 US application fee.
Applications must consist of:
- Piano/Vocal score for the selection ONLY (15-25 minutes of music)
- Libretto for the selection ONLY (additional English translation if the work is in another language)
- Synopsis of the entire work
- Recorded sample of the selection ONLY. These can be piano/vocal recordings (preferred), midi recordings, orchestral recordings, but must be converted into an mp3 or similar format before uploading.
- Note: All composer/librettist names must be removed from the submission materials for blind evaluation by the panel
- Submission PDF