9 YOUNG COMPOSER/LIBRETTIST TEAMS COMPETING TO HAVE THEIR WORK STAGED AT ALMEIDA OPERA
The Genesis Foundation, launched in January 2001 to give generous practical encouragement in the arts to those at the beginning of their professional careers, today announced its short list for the inaugural Genesis Prizes for Opera. This new, international competition for young composers and librettists of contemporary chamber opera has attracted a total of 210 applicants from 37 countries. The competition will culminate in June 2003 with performances of three chamber operas at London's Almeida Opera and a cash prize of £20,000 for the winning production. The goals of The Genesis Prizes for Opera are to provide much-needed opportunities to young composers to have their works performed, and to attract new audiences to contemporary music through chamber opera.
The distinguished panel of judges comprises the Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli; Genista McIntosh, Executive Director, London's Royal National Theatre; Michael Morris, Director of Cultural Industry and co-director of Artangel; David Parry, Music Director of Almeida Opera; David Pountney, opera director, translator and librettist; Jonathan Reekie, Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Productions; the writer Vikram Seth; and John Studzinski, Chairman of the Genesis Foundation.
Composers under the age of 40 were asked to submit a scenario for a chamber opera, based on a subject that had to be within living memory, together with examples on CD of the composer's music and a sample of the librettist's writing. The nine shortlisted proposals selected to go forward to the April 2002 workshop stage of the competition at Almeida Opera - recognised internationally as a force in the creation of contemporary chamber opera - are listed on the following page. The nominated writer/composer teams now receive £3,000 each to create a first draft of the libretto and an extract from their score. Where appropriate, they will be mentored by members of the panel.
THE GENESIS PRIZES FOR OPERA 2003 SHORT LIST
|Composers / Librettists|
|1||Christian Asplund (37 years old) / Lara Candland
Sunset with Pink Pastoral
|2||Paul Clark (33 years old) / Alexander Garcia Düttmann
Rut Blees Luxemburg (photographer)
Liebeslied / My Suicides
|3||Fillipo del Corno (31 years old) / Angelo Miotto
Non guardate al domani
|4||Paul Frehner (30 years old) / Angela Murphy
Sirius on Earth
|5||Katarzyna Glowicka (23 years old) / Jerzy Lukosz
The King's Gravedigger
|6||Jurgen Simpson (26 years old) / Simon Doyle
|7||Isidora Žebeljan - composer and librettist (33 years old)
Whatever Happened to Lydia S?
(based on an original idea by Dusan Ristic)
|8||Jonathan Mills (38 years old) / Dorothy Porter
The Eternity Man
|9||Fumio Tamura (32 years old) / Kei Kasahara
After the workshop process in 2002, the advisory panel will choose three operas from the shortlist for a full commission (£12,000 to each composer, £2,000 to each librettist) and these will be taken forward to full production as part of the Almeida's 2003 summer season. The productions will also be performed outside London on tour, and in collaboration with Aldeburgh Productions with whom Almeida Opera regularly collaborates.
The Genesis Foundation's website proved a powerful tool for attracting such a wide range of entrants from across so many continents to the competition. Among the 37 countries represented there were entries from the US (25%), UK (25%), Italy (5%), but also from Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Hungary, Korea, Malaysia, South Africa and the Ukraine, to name but a few.
John Studzinski, Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, is providing through The Genesis Prizes for Opera a unique opportunity for composers and librettists at the beginning of their professional careers not only to have their work commissioned, but also produced on a public stage and paid for. Already, in the inaugural year of this bi-annual competition, he has found young people from across the world with talent he believes worth cultivating.
"What we're dealing with here is an attempt to identify a group of composers globally", says John Studzinski. "Now that we've unearthed them we're determined to create a network of composers via the internet, which I hope is sustainable and can be commissioned by opera companies around the world."
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For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact: pressgenesisfoundation [dot] org [dot] uk
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