American Repertoire Program

Opera Philadelphia launched the American Repertoire Program in 2011, committing to produce an American work in each season for the next ten years and solidifying its role as a national leader in the creation of new works. In tandem with the launch of the nation’s first collaborative Composer in Residence Program, the American Repertoire Program is aimed at fostering a new generation of opera composers and telling authentically American stories. It is steered by the American Repertoire Council, a committed group of volunteer advisors overseen by operatic baritone, Nathan Gunn.

February 2016: Cold Mountain (East Coast Premiere)*
With music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon and a libretto by Gene Scheer, based on the bestselling novel Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
A co-production with Santa Fe Opera, where it will premiere in 2015 before making its East Coast Premiere at the Academy of Music
Starring Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard, and Jay Hunter Morris 

June 2015: Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD (World Premiere)
By composer Daniel Schnyder with a libretto by Bridgette Wimberly
Part of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater
Lawrence Brownlee stars as Charlie Parker, with Angela Brown as his mother, Addie Parker

February 2015: Oscar (East Coast Premiere)*
Composed by Theodore Morrison, Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of Michigan, with a libretto by the composer and John Cox
Co-produced with Santa Fe Opera
Starring David Daniels as Oscar Wilde, Heidi Stober, and William Burden

June 2014: A Coffin In Egypt (East Coast Premiere)
By Ricky Ian Gordon with a libretto by Leonard Foglia
Co-commissioned and co-produced with Houston Grand Opera and The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Starring Frederica von Stade

February 2013: Silent Night (East Coast Premiere)
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music, by composer Kevin Puts with a libretto by Mark Campbell
Co-produced with Minnesota Opera
Hailed as "a tautly paced and involving work" by The New York Times
Starring Kelly Kaduce and William Burden

June 2012: Dark Sisters
Music by Nico Muhly and a libretto by Stephen Karam
Co-commissioned with New York City's Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group
Performed as part of the Aurora Series at the Perelman Theater
The November 2011 New York premiere was hailed by the Associated Press, which called it, “An intriguing new opera... Muhly and Karam  seem to have succeeded where many new operas fail."

Subsequent works may be performed at either the Academy of Music or as part of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater. Opera Philadelphia will continue to research composers and librettists that fit with its repertoire, commissioning, and casting goals.

For more information on the American Repertoire Program, contact us.

If you are interested in supporting the American Repertoire Program with a gift, please contact us here.

*The composer's opera debut