Opera Company of Philadelphia Appoints Missy Mazzoli as Composer-In-Residence

Missy Mazzoli

Missy Mazzoli - Photo by Stephen S. Taylor

The Opera Company of Philadelphia, in collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group in New York, has announced that composer Missy Mazzoli has been selected as its second composer-in-residence. Mazzoli, currently working on her second full-length opera, was chosen from over 100 applicants for the position and now has the opportunity to follow a personalized, three-year development track focused on the advancement of her career as an operatic composer.

“Missy has already proven herself as a significant composer with stories to tell,” says OCP General Director David B. Devan. “This program will connect her with world-class professionals who can mentor and collaborate with her to support her continued growth as an artist.” For the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the program complements the American Repertoire Program (ARP), a commitment to producing an American opera in each season for the next decade, announced in 2011.

The composer-in-residence program, funded over five years by a $1.4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides a living stipend ($60,000, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer) and benefits to two composers, each following a three-year track, with the goal of “fostering tomorrow’s American operatic masterpieces through personalized creative development and intensive, hands-on composition.” Mazzoli will begin her appointment on September 1, 2012. She joins Lembit Beecher, who was appointed in September 2011.

In February 2012, Mazzoli premiered her first full-length opera, Song from the Uproar, at The Kitchen in New York. The Wall Street Journal called the work “powerful and new”, while The New York Times said that, “in the electric surge of Ms. Mazzoli’s score you felt the joy, risk, and unlimited potential of free spirits unbound.” Her new, 25-minute opera entitled SALT, a multi-media collaboration based on the biblical story of Lot’s wife, will premiere at UNC Chapel Hill in October 2012. Mazzoli attended the Yale School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, and Boston University, and is published by G. Schirmer.

(—from the press release)

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