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Opera Company of Philadelphia, in Collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group, Announces Second Round of Composer In Residence Program

For Release On: January 19, 2012
Contact: Tracy C. Galligher
215-893-5903 or 

Philadelphia, PA: The Opera Company of Philadelphia, in collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group in New York, is proud to announce the launch of the second track for its collaborative operatic Compser In Residence program, with applications being accepted from February 15 - March 7, 2012.

Funded over five years by a $1.4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Composer In Residence (CIR) program provides a highly individualized professional development path for two of today’s most promising opera composers. The goal of the CIR program is to foster tomorrow’s American operatic masterpieces through personalized creative development and intensive, hands-on composition opportunities. The first CIR is Lembit Beecher, chosen during a competitive search in 2011.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is partnering with two New York companies to realize this program: Gotham Chamber Opera, which specializes in innovative productions of intimately-scaled, rarely-performed works, and Music-Theatre Group, well known for their development of new works. This triumvirate first formed around the co-commission and co-production of Dark Sisters, a new opera with music by Nico Muhly and a libretto by Stephen Karam. The opera had its critically-acclaimed New York World Premiere in November 2011 and will see its Philadelphia Premiere in June 2012.

The CIR program is directed to composers of all professional levels who see opera as a significant new component of their future creative work, from emerging composers to midcareer artists moving into opera for the first time. The chosen candidate will embark on a three year personalized track providing opportunities to cultivate his/her skills in all aspects of opera production, from working one-on-one with librettists and dramaturges, to workshops and scene treatments with world-class performers. The CIR will have exceptional access to observe and work hands-on in every aspect of creative development, production, and performance. Since his appointment in August 2011, Composer In Residence Lembit Beecher has had the opportunity to explore a variety of professional development experiences, including being a part of the rehearsal process of two varying operas, with OCP’s Carmen and the New York production of Dark Sisters; studying important operatic scores in one-on-one sessions with both music and stage directors; taking voice lessons to learn more about composition for the voice; and other work geared towards his growth as an operatic composer. Beecher will present a concert of his pieces “And Then I Remember” and “Three Immigrant Songs” this Friday and Saturday, January 20th and 21st at New York’s DiMenna Center; “And Then I Remember” won the 2010 OperaVista competition, while “Three Immigrant Songs” is Beecher’s first work since being selected as CIR. (Performance details follow this release.)

While there is no pre-determined creative output required for the CIR program, composers are encouraged to make the best use of resources by focusing their residency around one or more musical works. The resulting works may be considered for performance by the collaborators.

Applications for this search will be accepted beginning February 15th, in a completely online process. The deadline to apply is March 7th. A selection of applicants will be chosen to submit additional work for a second round. This award includes a yearly salary of $60,000 and benefits, and the composer’s term will begin September 2012.

A more detailed description of the residency program may be found at

Eligibility Requirements

The chosen composer:

  • Must be a US citizen based in the United States
  • Must not be enrolled or designated ABD in a degree-granting program at time of residency
  • Must be in residence in Philadelphia and New York for a minimum of four to six weeks, twice per year (housing and travel expenses provided)
  • Will participate in monthly meetings with senior executive and artistic staff
  • Will participate in youth and audience development programs across a variety of media

DEADLINE FOR THE 2012 CIR SEARCH APPLICATION is 5:00 pm Eastern time, March 7, 2012. Inquiries about the program should be directed to Note: Applications will not be accepted before FEBRUARY 15, 2012. For details and links to submit an application, visit after February 15th.


Concert Performances:
Lembit Beecher’s “And Then I Remember” and the World Premiere of “Three Immigrant Songs”
Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
New York City’s DiMenna Center
450 W. 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

The music on the program combines the colors and textures of chamber music with both song and recorded interviews to tell stories of the immigrant experience, with texts ranging from traditional folk lyrics to published poetry, from lines scrawled on the wall of a holding cell to a first person account of love, war, loss and renewal. Tickets are $15 and are available online and at the door. For press inquiries specifically related to this concert, please contact Emily Motherwell, OtherARTS, at