1 August 2003
The Genesis Opera Project was set up to encourage young composers and librettists to consider writing operas/music theatre works. Because the economics of staging opera is often prohibitively expensive, a lot of composers are discouraged from working in the genre. By providing support for creative teams through its commissioning process, Genesis hopes to stimulate artists to explore new approaches (including new venues for staging such works) that will appeal to modern audiences.
As Chairman and Founder, John Studzinski, has stated: "The Genesis Opera Projects are about process and development, not about winners or losers. Genesis feels that the accolades begin when a work is chosen for the workshops."
The Genesis Opera Project, launched in January 2001, continues to provide composers and writers with the opportunity to develop a work from initial idea through to full production, within a structured environment. It also acts as a catalyst for other creative artists - directors, designers, visual artists and musicians - to discover and work in the field of opera.
As John Studzinski says, "GOP aspires to create a platform for the best young directing, design and musical talents from all over the world. Our work is truly international in reach, approach and ambition. Working with Almeida Aldeburgh Opera and other sister festivals internationally, Genesis provides a ready-made platform to present works to an audience both in the UK and internationally."
GOP2 Shortlisted Projects
GOP2 Meet the Panel
Forward from the programme by the Genesis Foundation Chairman, John Studzinski
Performers at the workshops
What Happens Next?
GOP2 moves towards end of first phase
The Genesis advisory panel for the first Genesis Opera Project (2001-2003) comprised:
For the second Genesis Opera Project (2003 - 2005) the panel remains in large part unchanged. Vikram Seth has left the panel due to work commitments. However, the Artistic Director of the Young Vic, David Lan, himself also a playwright and librettist, has agreed to join the panel as a full member; and the composer David Sawer has agreed to be a consultant to the panel members.
This commissioning scheme, designed for composers aged 35 years of age and under and their librettists, invites proposals for one-act operas that are designed to be between 60 - 90 minutes long; that use no more than 13 musicians; and that have a cast of no more than eight singers.
The bi-annual Genesis Opera Project invites applications and proposals from all over the world during a specific time period every second year. When the call goes out for Projects, it is clearly stated on our own web site. From these entries, the panel then shortlists up to nine projects and commissions a first draft of the libretto for workshops in Aldeburgh six months later, with 15 minutes of music and a further draft of the full libretto ready a further three months on for workshops held in front of an audience of panel members and invited opera and industry professionals internationally. From this process, three works are then commissioned for fully-staged world premieres the following year.
Unsuccessful applicants are not deterred from applying again, assuming they still meet the criteria.