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opera/music theatre Competitions & Call for pieces

 Opera Disrupted – Call for Submissions
Summary:Opera Call
Deadline: 15 February 2018
Date Posted: 18 January 2018
Details: Cowtown Opera is thrilled to announce a call for submissions to Opera Disrupted: A Series of New Mini-Operas

We are looking for three teams of composers and lyricists to create 3 separate short new operatic works of about 15-20 minutes each to be presented as part of a cabaret evening. The pieces should work as standalone stories, though they may be from a longer work. The works will be presented in a semi-staged format in a cabaret evening on April 20, 2018.

At Cowtown Opera, we are all about accessibility and breaking operatic stereotypes. We aspire to create modern stories and lyrics that are relatableand tend to lean more towards memorable melodic phrases and beautiful harmonies . We would like our audiences to be able to hum every song walking out of the theatre and to understand the plot and words easily while experiencing emotional impact, whether comedic or serious . Please read more about Cowtown Operas previous productions in order to see what our brand is and our company vision is. If you haven’t written an opera before we’d still love to hear your work. If you have a background of Musical Theatre or Jazz and you have always wondered what it would be like to create an opera, we welcome it! We’re interested in hearing music that creates an emotional impact and not fixed ideas of what operatic music is. We are open, we are experimenting and learning through this process. We believe that the future of the operatic art form relies on this type of experiment for survival and lasting through the modern generation.

We are looking for submissions with the following guidelines:

-melodic and catchy music that might turn someone on to opera

-stories about contemporary life

-Relatable libretto

-not previously produced

Submissions should include:

a cover letter explaining what interests you about the project

a five minute sample of the proposed work (mp3 file), with lyrics included.

a synopsis of the proposed story

A resume for each team member

What we will provide:

a $500 honorarium per team

a pianist to play the completed work at the cabaret

up to four singers (we can provide one each of the following voice types: soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass-baritone) to sing the completed work

an evening of rehearsal for each piece, which you are welcome to attend, although we are not able to provide travel costs

a feedback session with Cowtown’s Artistic team

Marketing and showcasing of your endeavors through our social media streams and newsletter contacts.

Please email your submissions to The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2018.


 Opera Kansas Presents the Zepick Modern Opera Composition Contest
Summary:Children's Opera Competition
Deadline: 30 April 2018
Date Posted: 11 January 2018
Details: A competition for a new opera suitable for children from 3rd to 5th grade, or eight to ten years old.

Cast Requirements: Two to four adult singers

Accompaniment: Piano with optional obligato instruments

Length: 30 to 35 minutes

Libretto Requirements: An opera with a focus on the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math curriculum is preferred. A history based subject would also be appropriate. Special consideration will be given to operas with Kansas ties. Subject matter must be appropriate to fit in an elementary school setting.

The ideal opera will be one that includes participation from the classroom; for example, a short chorus or percussion section to be prepared by students ahead of time or other audience participation prepared during the performance.

Award and Performance Restrictions: The winner of the STEAM Opera Composition Contest will receive a cash prize of $2,000.00. Opera Kansas will retain all performance rights to the show for a period of five years. Deadlines: March 1, 2018. Submit the following:

1. a recording (MIDI is acceptable)
2. 1 complete PDF Score
3. 1 “BLIND” PDF score free of all identifiers of the composer

Electronic submission are preferred and accepted via
By post to P.O. Box 8811, Wichita KS, 67208

Award Announcement: April 30, 2018

 Opera Lucca
Summary:Summer course in Italy
Deadline: 19 February 2018
Date Posted: 27 December 2017
Details: Opera Lucca is a summer festival for vocal, piano, and composition students. It will be held at the Lucca Italian School in the summer of 2018, June 11th through July 6th. We specialize in teaching Italian opera and art song through the language. Our distinguished faculty are either native Italian speakers or experts in operatic Italian. Some students will have the opportunity to stay in host families to improve their conversational Italian. Tuition for singers ranges from $3500 to $3900, based on housing options. See tuition page for details.

We are accepting applications from vocalists, pianists, and composers. Contact us at if you are interested in participating!

Daily Schedule:
Each day students will have four hours of Italian classes at the Lucca Italian School and a two-hour masterclass with voice faculty. There will be weekly coachings and lessons as well as regular rehearsals for performances. Students may also request additional Italian lessons, including private lessons with language-school teachers.

Saturdays and Sundays are free to travel around central Italy or relax in town. Lucca is close to many important cultural and tourist destinations: 1.5 hours from Florence, 30 minutes from Pisa, 3 hours from Rome, 2 hours from Cinque Terre, and 30 minutes from the beach at Viareggio.

Composition students will experience a retreat to a Medieval Italian city to focus on setting vocal music through masterclasses and private lessons. Composers will come to the festival with vocal compositions already in progress to be completed while there with the guidance of faculty. Some compositions will be performed on concert programs. Students will also attend Italian classes. Lucca was home to Puccini and Boccherini and provides many locations in and around the city for retreat and inspiration.

 “Key to the Future” – Opera Composition Competition 2018
Deadline: 22 August 2018
Date Posted: 02 August 2017
Details: Objectives of the Competition: Creating a forum for and drawing attention to new "popular operas" conceived in the spirit of the Artistic Manifesto of Bartók Plus Opera Festival, that are capable of luring back large audiences to the opera house.
Eligibility of Applicants: Any natural persons who are contemporary composers can submit their work to the competition, irrespective of their nationality, country of residence or age. The competition is not “anonymous” - one can only apply with full name and address.

Advertiser of the Competition: Miskolci Operafesztivál Nonprofit Kft. (Seat: 3525 Miskolc, Déryné u. 1; Reg. No: Cg: 05-09-016624, represented by Beáta Farkas, managing director). The Advertiser intends to advertise the Competition on a yearly basis, in accordance with its means and purposes, first in the year 2012.
Works to be submitted: Completed Work not yet performed on stage with an orchestra. There are no restrictions concerning the topic, language and the length of the Work. One composer can submit several Works and several authors can submit one joint Work.

Preliminary Registration and the Application Process: Application is possible by submitting the Application Form downloaded from the website. In the course of Preliminary Registration, this Application Form should be sent to the email address Completion of each point of the Application Form is mandatory.

The amount of the Application Fee: 150 EUR, payable to Advertiser's following bank account at OTP Bank: HU44 1176 3347 5721 7886 0000 0000.

Submission of the Work: Application documents can only be sent by way of postal delivery.

The following information should be indicated on the envelope, postal parcel etc.
• The name of the Advertiser: Miskolci Operafesztivál Nonprofit Kft.
• Its postal address: Miskolci Operafesztivál Nonprofit Kft., 3501 Miskolc, Pf. 634
• The name of the Competition: “Key to the Future” – Opera Composition Competition
• The Sender, in other words the Applicant

Materials to be submitted:
1., The full score of the Work on paper and electronic media.
2., A synopsis of the Work summarising the story in maximum 1 page in A/4 format.
3., The duly signed original copy of the Application Form.
4., The banking document verifying transfer of the Application Fee to Advertiser’s bank account.

In addition to the Work (score) Applicants may choose to submit (non-mandatory):
• The Orchestral Part of the Work, but in case the Work is shortlisted for the Finals, within 5 working days from the receipt of the notification thereof; Applicant shall submit the finished Orchestral Part to the Advertiser by electronic mail.
• Any other Sound Recording.

Application deadline: 00:00 hours CET, 22nd August, 2018 The Application Deadline means Delivery to the Advertiser of the Competition.

Professional pre-selection: Works will be judged by a professional Jury consisting of 4-7 experts. The Jury will select 3 or more of the submitted Works that they consider to be most in compliance with the principles of the Artistic Manifesto of Bartók Plus Opera Festival. These Works shall be the Finalists in the competition.

The decision of the professional Jury and the list of the Works shortlisted for the Finals shall be published on 1st October, 2018, on the website.

Advertiser shall have Works shortlisted for the Finals performed at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in partially staged versions with piano accompaniment in the fourth quarter of the year 2018.
The Jury will select and Advertiser will announce the winning Work from the pieces performed in the Finals at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music.

The Winner will be announced on the website within 1 working day following the performance at the Academy.

Advertiser will present the entire winning Work in a fully staged opera performance with orchestra at the festival in Miskolc in the year following that of the Competition. Advertiser, however, is not obliged to have the winning Work performed at the Miskolc Opera Festival.

Prizes and Usage Rights: Each Work shortlisted for the Finals will be awarded 1500 EUR.

The winning Work will be awarded additional sum of 4000 EUR and the Advertiser will use its means and purposes to present this Work in a fully staged complete opera performance, at the Bartók Plus Opera Festival the following year.

Usage rights of the Works are treated in detail in the Competition Call:

All payments related to the Competition Prizes shall be effectuated until 31st January, 2019. Payment of all prizes shall be effectuated by Advertiser to the bank accounts specified in the Application Form. Taxation shall be in accordance with the legal regulations effective with respect to the Applicants’ nationality or country of residence.

Further questions about the Competition, Participation Criteria or Application Documents can be addressed to: Sára Szakács, Competition Secretary, at the following email address:
Entry Fee:€150

 Sarasota Opera Request For Submission of New Youth Works
Summary:Opera for Young People
Deadline: None
Date Posted: 15 April 2015
Details: Sarasota Opera is pleased to invite composers to submit works for a new opera for possible production in November 2017 by Sarasota Youth Opera, one of the most comprehensive programs in the United States.

This invitation is open to any living composer or librettist, of any age, who is a United States citizen.

The submission deadline is Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at 5 pm.

Click HERE to download submission form

About Sarasota Youth Opera:

Since 1984, Sarasota Youth Opera (SYO) has given young people age 8 to 18 an opportunity to experience the magic of opera through participation in after-school choruses, Sarasota Opera mainstage productions, summer workshops, and the Youth Opera's own full-scale productions.

Regarded as a leader in the commissioning and producing of works for young voices, SYO is the only program in the United States committed to presenting annual, full-scale opera productions for young voices with professional musicians, direction, and costume and scenic design.

Since 1986, five commissioned world premieres and over 20 additional youth opera productions have been presented. Past commissions include:

2012 Little Nemo in Slumberland (music by Daron Hagen, libretto by J.D. McClatchy)
2004 The Language of Birds (music by John Kennedy, libretto by Peter Krask)
1998 Eye of Ra (music by Tom Suta, libretto by Diana Colson)
1993 Her Lightness (music and libretto by Polly Pen)
1989 Deadline

Our most recent commission, Little Nemo in Slumberland, featured over 106 young people and used a ground-breaking projection technology called SCRIBE (Self-Contained Rapidly Integratable Background Environment) to bring Winsor McCay’s comic strips to life. Since it’s 2012 premiere, Little Nemo in Slumberland has been performed by The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, Tulsa Youth Opera, La Sierra University, and Pittsburgh High School for the Performing Arts.

In November 2014, SYO presented Dean Burry’s The Hobbit. Based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, this classic adventure was brought to life with a cast of over 95 young people and 12 professional musicians on the stage of the Sarasota Opera House.

Both Little Nemo in Slumberland and The Hobbit performed to sold-out audiences.


-English Libretto
-60 minutes of playing time. One Intermission optional.
-10 to 15 solo youth roles in treble voice
-Optional 1 to 3 adult players. Adults may portray more than one character.
-SSAB youth chorus ensemble that is featured predominately throughout the work
-Chamber orchestration of no more than 13 instruments, may include piano
-Roles with specific physical requirements are best avoided
-Entirely sung (minimal spoken narration or dialog optional)


"Sarasota Opera is dedicated to performing classic works of opera in a manner that is true to the composer’s intentions. In the years that we have been doing productions with our Youth Opera, I have found there are few works of substantial musical value for young people to perform. In our desire to increase the repertoire we are looking for music that is rooted in the classic music style, reflecting how that music is written today without the influence of other genres such musical theater, jazz or other popular idioms.

"The Youth Opera was begun as a way to get young people interested in art music. The works we are looking for should help achieve that goal and be musically sophisticated enough to appeal to adults while still accessible to children."

--Maestro Victor DeRenzi
Artistic Director, Sarasota Opera


-Copyright clearance must obtained prior to entry
-Submissions must be unpublished works not currently accepted by a publisher for publication or rental
-Works may have been workshopped, but should not have received a premiere performance
-Works should show an awareness of the practical realities of rehearsal and performance
-Sarasota Opera will hold the rights for the premiere performances and one subsequent production


-Piano-Vocal format
-Minimum 30% complete (approximately 20 minutes of music)
-Submission must include at least one (1) chorus ensemble number
-Each composer may submit up to three (3) works
-Manuscripts should be legible if hand-written

Submission should include:
-Submission Form
-Letter of Introduction
-PDF of PV and Libretto
-Each score must have a title page containing characters, voice types, and brief synopsis for proposed work
-If submitted in hard copy, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return
-Inclusion of a recording of work-shopped scenes, full opera, or midi recording is optional

If no entry is deemed appropriate, the panel reserves the right to not make a selection and no fee will be awarded.

Submissions May Be Sent To:

Sarasota Opera
New Youth Works Submission
61 N. Pineapple Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

Materials may be submitted electronically via this Dropbox link: Submit Materials.

If submitting electronically, please include “Composer Last Name, Composer First Name” at the beginning of each file name (eg: "Doe_Jane_Opera_Title").


September 2015 Submission Deadline
December 2015 Finalists Announced
May 2016 Finalists Submitted Completed PV
August 2016 Final Selection(s) Announced – Winner(s) Complete Orchestration
November 2017 Premiere Production


Composer $15,000
Librettist $10,000
Composer/Librettist (wrote both) $20,000