Hermitage Artist Retreat and American Opera Projects Create Opera Genesis Fellowships

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June 2, 2015

Hermitage Artist Retreat and American Opera Projects Create
Opera Genesis Fellowships
The Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, FL and New York City’s American Opera
Projects (AOP) have formed a partnership that will result in a six-week residency to be
called Opera Genesis Fellowships. This newly created program allows for a composer
and a librettist from AOP’s Composer & the Voice (C&V) training program to be invited
to continue the development of a contemporary American opera at the Hermitage’s
inspiring Gulf Coast campus. The first team will be selected in 2016.
“The Hermitage was created as a place for mid-career artists to come and work on
new art,” explained Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director. “We have 10 acres of
beachfront property on the Gulf of Mexico and serve four to five invited artists of all
disciplines at any one time. It’s a quiet, peaceful and inspiring setting. Many new operas
have already been written and composed here. We know this new partnership with AOP’s
C&V program will produce more exciting work that will eventually be enjoyed in opera
venues throughout the country.”
American Opera Projects’ Composers & the Voice is a two-year fellowship for
composers and librettists that provides experience working collaboratively with singers
on writing for the voice and opera stage. This free training includes a year of working
with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team, followed by a year
of continued promotion and development through AOP and its strategic partnerships.
The Hermitage Artist Retreat nurtures creativity in mid-career writers, painters,
poets, playwrights, composers, translators, sculptors, and other artists. Even before the
partnership, the two organizations had many artists in common. Some of AOP’s artists
who have been in residence at The Hermitage are Laura Kaminsky (As One), Mark
Campbell (As One), Phil Kline (Out Cold), Lera Auerbach (The Blind), and Huang Ruo
(Paradise Interrupted).
Since launching in 2002, C&V has fostered the development of 44 composers &
librettists. Alumni works that went through AOP’s opera development program and
continued to a world premiere include Love/Hate (ODC/San Francisco Opera 2012, Jack
Perla), Paul’s Case (UrbanArias 2013, Gregory Spears), and The Scarlet Ibis
(PROTOTYPE 2015, Stefan Weisman).
“AOP and C&V Artistic Director Steven Osgood created the Composers & the
Voice program with the vision of training the fundamentals of writing opera to emerging
composers & librettists,” stated AOP Producing Director Matt Gray. “We are thrilled that
the partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat furthers that vision by providing a
creative place for those artists to convert their knowledge into the operas themselves –
operas that will become the core of a new, modern repertoire.”
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat
The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood,
FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other
artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked
to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists
touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each
year. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an
annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among three disciplines: visual art,
music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to
award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more
information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at
About American Opera Projects
At the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for a quarter-century, AOP creates,
develops and presents opera and music theatre projects collaborating with young, rising and
established artists in the field. AOP has produced over 25 world premieres, including
Kaminsky/Reed/Campbell’s As One at BAM (2014) and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind, a coproduction
with Lincoln Center Festival (2013). www.operaprojects.org

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