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opera/music theatre Competitions & Call for pieces

 Freshly Squeezed Opera
Summary:Opera Call
Deadline: 15 April 2019
Date Posted: 13 March 2019
Details: FSO is proud to announce its annual call for scores for its 2019 Showcase.

Please note, you can EITHER submit 1-2 existing pieces, OR submit a project proposal.

DEADLINE: April 15, 2019

For each composer, (not each submission), please pay a $5 submission fee here.

For this call, we are requesting the following:

1. Submit 1-2 pieces that meet the following criteria:
• Written on the theme of America, or what it means to be American or the current cultural climate in America
• Between 7 – 15 minutes (can be multiple movements)
• With the instrumentation of 1 singer, and a maximum of 5 instruments (can consist of sop/mezz/bari; fl, cl/, ob, bsn, hrn, v, va, c, piano, electronics (fixed or live), perc (limited))
• The piece can have been premiered somewhere else

With your submission (by email to please include the following information:
• Composer Name
• Librettist Name/Words by
• Timing of the piece
• Instrumentation
• Description of the piece
• Performance History
• Recording (midis are acceptable)


2. A proposal for a new project (1 proposal)
• Written on the theme of America, or what it means to be American or the current cultural climate in America
• Between 5 – 10 minutes (can be multiple movements)
• With the instrumentation of 1 singer, and a maximum of 5 instruments (can consist of sop/mezz/bari; fl, cl/, ob, bsn, hrn, v, va, c, piano, electronics (fixed or live), perc (limited)

With your submission (by email to please include the following information:
• Detailed Project proposal: What subject matter will you write about? What themes are you interested in exploring? How many movements? How will you convey this through your music? Will you be collaborating with someone?
• Composer Name
• Librettist Name/ Words by
• Anticipated Timing
• Anticipated Instrumentation
• 2 Recordings of past pieces of similar size/instrumentation
• Composer’s brief bio


Entry Fee:$5

 Sing Out Strong
Summary:Call for Immigrant Composers
Deadline: 30 March 2019
Date Posted: 30 January 2019
Details: White Snake Projects is excited to announce the launch of a new program entitled SING OUT STRONG: Immigrant Voices, a community-based project that sets Boston immigrant stories to music, as part of the public programming for the new opera, I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, premiering in Boston in September 2019. This will be the inaugural project for a multi-year series of songs based on themes emerging organically from our operas.

We are collecting stories from Boston immigrant communities and will commission composers who are new or first generation immigrants, and/or who identify strongly with the immigrant experience, to set these stories to music. These songs will be presented in free public concerts in August and September 2019, as well as on the Robert J. Orchard Stage of the Paramount Theater as the Prologue to I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. Any new or first generation immigrant who resides in Massachusetts is eligible to submit songs, poems, text, and stories predominantly told in English. Immigrant composers should submit two (2) recorded samples of their work.

I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams is a new opera exploring immigration, dislocation, and transformation in America, composed by Jorge Sosa with libretto by Cerise Lim Jacobs, directed by Elena Araoz, and conducted by Maria Sensi Sellner. The world premiere will be September 2018 at the Robert J. Orchard Stage, Paramount Theater, Boston.

To apply:
• Writers, please submit your writing with a short bio. Do not worry whether your writing is “singable.” White Snake Projects will assist the selected writers to rework the lyrics, if necessary.
• Composers, please submit two (2) recorded samples of your work and a short bio. Studio-quality recordings are not required.
• These materials should be sent to your community representative or to with SING OUT STRONG: Immigrant Voices, as the subject.
• The applicants selected to be part of the songwriting teams will be paid a fee.
• Deadline: March 30th, 2019. Selected writers will be notified by April 15th, 2019.

If you would like to read the libretto for the opera, you may get a copy by e-mailing You may write whatever comes to mind, or respond to one or more of the following prompts:
• Why did you come to America?
• What challenges do you face living in a new homeland?
• What does being “American” mean to you?
• What do you miss about your home country?

 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