Art Song Composers share thoughts on CCOT Competition

March 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

On March 10th Center City Opera Theater held a concert titled “Art Songs for the 21st Century.” The evening consisted of vocal works by fifteen contemporary composers which were selected from over 250 submissions. This promised to be a unique concert just by virtue of being a program of 21st century art songs, but CCOT didn’t stop there. It was decided that the winners would not be selected by a judge but rather be determined by the audience. CCOT invited the people present to participate in our own classical music version of American Idol and vote for their favorite composers!

“This competition represented a very broad range of musical styles,” says Andrew Kurtz, General & Artistic Director of Center City Opera Theater.  “The repertoire our young artists had to sing that evening was very eclectic in terms of tonality and technical difficulty.”

After an evening of thrilling new works the votes have been calculated and the top five have been selected! Ray Leslee, Daniel Schlosberg, Andrea Clearfield, Dale Trumbore and Eliza Brown will each have an opportunity to continue their relationship with CCOT and begin developing new operatic works.

What inspired such a strong response to the call for art song submissions? Top five composer Eliza Brown says “I think it’s very difficult for a composer to write a successful operatic work in a vacuum, so I’m looking forward to the process of collaboration with CCOT.  Collaboration with a company, a specific group of artists and production staff, allows the music to be tailored to real voices and can give the work a better chance of succeeding as both music and theater.”

Dale Trumbore echoed a similar sentiment, commenting “I love that Center City Opera Theater is committed to nurturing new works, and just as importantly, to nurturing as many new works as possible. They’re full of ambitious and innovative ideas about presenting opera, and that’s a valuable trait to have in a collaborating organization.”

Keep your eyes peeled for new Creative Development Projects coming from these five talented composers! To learn more about past/current projects you can go to:

The world premiere of Slaying the Dragon, a Creative Deveopment Project by composer Michael Ching and librettist Ellen Frankel, is June 7, 2012 at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.

-Posted by Samantha Apgar
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