Up to now, learning the skills to excel in this field has been somewhat difficult, as the musicians who do this work tend to be the ones who have previously done similar work before. However, companies such as Tapestry New Opera are starting to realize the importance of training the next generation of singers and pianists in these specialized skills so that in the coming years, more of them will have the skills to create and interpret new operatic works.
Part of my work this last summer as Leadership Legacy Intern at Tapestry was to create an ongoing studio series program to bring more musicians and audiences into the company. Part of that project was New Opera 101, a day-long master class for singers and pianists, culminating in The Tapestry Songbook, an evening of arias from Tapestry's recent repertory. Although I'm not listed below, I'll also be one of the clinicians and will work with both the singers and pianists.
The day of the workshop will be January 22nd 2011, which is none other than the International Day of Collaborative Music, and this project is part of my participation in MTNA's IDCM initiative.
From the New Opera 101 page:
On January 22, 2011, Tapestry New Opera will offer an all day event for six singer/pianist duos. Managing Artistic Director Wayne Strongman and Studio Company members Xin Wang, soprano, and Peter McGillivray, baritone will be the clinicians for the Master Class and Workshop components.
They will discuss the role of singers and pianists in the process of creating, developing and producing new opera. Each duo will be coached by the clinicians in two assigned arias from the soon to be published Tapestry Songbook. Clinicians will share their techniques of new opera score preparation in an ensemble reading workshop. Following the master class, duos will be given the opportunity to perform in the first ever concert of The Tapestry Songbook, open to the public.
New Opera 101 is intended not only as a tool for the growth of artists but as a way for Tapestry to discover emerging talent.
Applications are available online (as of October 1) with submissions due in the Tapestry offices on Friday October 29, 2010. Singers and pianists apply as a duo.
Applicants must jointly submit an application form, two letters of recommendation, one CD of the duo performing two contemporary works, one of which must be in English, and an application fee of $10 payable by cheque, Visa or Mastercard.
Successful applicants will be notified by email on November 5, 2010.
Each duo will be assigned two arias from the Tapestry Songbook. Music will be sent upon receipt of a program fee of $200 per duo. Program fees must be paid no later than November 19, 2010.
New Opera 101 participants will receive free admission to the Tapestry Songbook concert. Otherwise, tickets are available for $20 for students/arts workers and at the regular rate of $25.
A limited number of auditors will be admitted to the program at a cost of $25 (or $45 including concert admission.)
Once again, singers and pianists will need to apply as preformed duos. The deadline for applications will be Friday, October 29, so get going on those demo recordings if you want to have it in on time.
Singer/Pianist Application Form
Auditor Application Form