Site Search

New Members

Other Resources
News Archive

opera/music theatre Competitions & Call for pieces

Summary:Opera Opportunity
Deadline: 08 May 2017
Date Posted: 12 April 2017
Details: Second Movement is pleased to announce a call for proposals for

rough for opera #16 | 09.10.17 | The Cockpit

Applications close at 6pm on 8th May 2017


About | rough for opera #16

rough for opera is a platform for new opera, curated and produced by Second Movement.

rough for opera is a scratch night: it’s particularly suited to new work receiving a first test performance and to showings of work in development. An important part of each rough for opera is for participants to receive feedback about their work at an early stage in its development. This is obtained in two ways, through audience feedback forms and through the Q and A after each performance.

rough for opera takes place at The Cockpit Theatre in London, SW8 8EH

The first rough for opera was in October 2011. Since then it has platformed more than 40 new operas and operas in development. You can find further information about all past events, participants and works programmed on this site.

Who can apply?

We welcome proposals for new opera and voice based work for the stage from composers, librettists, directors, performers or any other opera makers at any stage in their careers.

New proposals from previous applicants are welcome.

Guidance for Proposals

Works must be previously unperformed and between 10 and 30 minutes duration.

You can apply with either a complete work or extracts.

Your work can be in development: rough for opera is a great place to try out new ideas.

Works must be previously unperformed and between 10 and 30 minutes duration.

rough for opera is an opportunity to present your work in a theatrical context. We encourage participants to make use of the facilities and technical support available at the Cockpit for their performance and will ask you to let us know about your ideas for staging your work at rough for opera in your proposal. There is more information about this in the section How to Apply below.

You must be available in London on 9th October, the day of the performance.

Please note proposals for concert performances are not eligible for this Call for Proposals.

Three proposals will be programmed for presentation on 9th October 2017.

What’s provided?

*The Cockpit Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EH, a black box studio theatre with a large 9msq performance area in thrust layout.

*2 hour technical rehearsal in venue with technician and stage manager before evening performance.

*A piano, music stands and music stand lights.

*Full use of Cockpit’s technical facilities (including lighting, sound and video) with support of The Cockpit’s in house technician. The Cockpit’s tech spec is here

*publicity and ticket sales.

*tailored support and guidance from Second Movement to help you realise your aims for your performance and feedback after your performance.

* All performances and q and a’s are filmed for your future use.


Each participant receives financial support of £300 toward performance expenses eg performer travel, instrument hire, rehearsal space, (payable after the event on receipt of relevant invoices).

Performers and Additional Rehearsals

Please note participants are responsible for sourcing and managing their own performers and arranging their own additional rehearsal time and space.

How to Apply

Send the following to

Proposal: On one PDF Document please

*A 200 word max outline of your work to include synopsis, details of performer forces and how you think you and your work would benefit from taking part in rough for opera.

*A 100 word max outline of your ideas for a simple staging of your piece at rough for opera.

notes: We’re interested in how you plan to use your performers and the stage and theatre facilities to tell your piece’s story. You might include some ideas for simple lighting, costumes or small props. Previous directing experience is not necessary and you do not need to have a director or designer in your team to apply. Our aim is for you to explore the potential for your work on the stage. Guidance will be available throughout the process to support you in developing and realizing your ideas.

*A 200 word max composer biog. Please include details (where applicable) of any previous works for the stage and/or previous experience of staging your work.

*weblinks and any passwords needed to 3 examples of your work (e.g. soundcloud/vimeo/youtube: audio or video, no files please) and where available to include at least one piece for voice.

*A 100 word max biog for your company (if you have one) or of the main person making your application if not a composer.

*Names and contact details of 2 referees.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified week beginning 22nd May and invited to interview (London/Skype) during week beginning 5th June.

No scores or music files please at this stage.

We will contact you if we need any further information.


Applications open 24th March.

Applications close 6pm 8th May.

Shortlisted applicants notified week beginning 22nd May

Shortlisted applicants’ interviews (in London / skype) week beginning 5th June.

Decisions by 19th June.

If you have any queries before making an application please contact us at

Please note we are unable to advise on the suitability of or provide feedback on individual proposals.

 COSI Opera Composition Program
Summary:Opera Composition
Deadline: 30 June 2017
Date Posted: 04 April 2017
Details: Program Dates: July 11-20

COSI 2017 is pleased to offer its Opera Composition program, directed by Dean Burry, in combination with members of COSI’s magnificent artistic teams.
Apply for the COSI Opera Composition program via COSI’s YAPtracker link.
In receiving your application for the program, you will then be contacted by us to submit two examples of your compositions. Vocal and/or instrumental pieces are welcome, though examples of previous operatic writing are encouraged.
Successful applicants will:

• Submit a vocal composition or opera scene before the program.
• Collaboratively create a scene while at the program.
• Receive a final public presentation and recording.

Get back to your roots! In the last 400 years, opera has evolved into an incredibly rich and varied art form, drawing inspiration from cultures the world over. But it all started in Italy. The Opera Composition program allows both new and experienced opera composers to develop their own contemporary opera skills while drawing inspiration and guidance from the exceptional singers, collaborative pianists, directors and designers of the COSI program, all within the beautiful setting of the two thousand-year-old city of Sulmona. As part of the intensive one-week program, composers will have the opportunity to compose and workshop two complete opera scenes, attend masterclasses in vocal writing, dramaturgy and the libretto, building a career in the opera field. In addition… Enjoy a trip to Rome and a performance of one of Italy’s iconic operatic works at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.

The Opera Composition program includes:
• Vocal masterclasses that will inform about writing for the voice, and the particular considerations for each voice type and differences within those voice types (writing for different kinds of sopranos, for example).
• Dramaturgy and the libretto – how to work with a libretto or consider writing one.
• Building a Composing Career in Opera
• Elements of Design
• Private composition lessons with Dean Burry.

Enrollment is limited. To inquire further about submitting your compositions as part of your application to COSI’s Opera Composition program, contact:

Tuition information is on the “Costs” page.


 Hartford Opera Theater Call for Scores
Summary:Opera Call
Deadline: 01 May 2017
Date Posted: 13 March 2017
Details: Hartford Opera Theater is announcing a call for scores for its eighth annual New in November, new opera works workshop and festival. *NEW THIS YEAR* - The festival will take place Saturday, November 18, 2017 and up to 6 new opera selections will receive a staged workshop performance.

Composers are invited to submit up to two extracted opera scenes from a larger work, or one complete work of up to 20 minutes that includes the following:
• The scene must be composed for no more than a maximum of 5 singers (scenes written to include parts for mezzo-soprano or soprano are highly encouraged)
• The complete work or combined extracted scenes should be no longer than 20 minutes
• Must be written in the English-language
• Must be written for piano accompaniment or supplied piano reduction

All composers chosen to participate in the New in November workshops and festival will receive a staged performance with piano accompaniment. Works will be staged with minimal props and costumes. Composers and librettists are strongly encouraged to attend the festival weekend and performance to participate in the rehearsal process as part of the festival. Composers will be invited to attend workshop discussions and give presentations about their music as part of the festival activities. Composers will receive a DVD and professional photos of their performed scenes. There is no remuneration for composers or librettists if their works are selected. Transportation is not provided to the company’s rehearsal or performance spaces. Hartford Opera Theater is unable to provide housing or travel compensation at this time.


 Fresh Voices XVII Festival of New Works
Summary:Theatrical works
Deadline: 01 May 2017
Date Posted: 14 February 2017
Details: Goat Hall Productions is an organization of singers/actors, composers and writers passionate about contemporary opera, new music theater and song. We are dedicated to producing works that reflect and define the world around us in all its diversity while shining a light on the human spirit. We seek to collaborate with composers and librettists in the presentation of new works, provide opportunities for classically-trained singers to perform new roles, program works that are multi-faceted, melodic and accessible, presenting all works in ways that are thought-provoking and life-changing.

The title of the show is “2017”. We are looking for vocal works that resonate with the times. Works may be in any form: opera, musical theater, individual songs or song cycles not to exceed a total performance time of fifteen minutes. Works may be in any artistic style and in any language (subject to the availability of singers). Multi-cultural/multi-gender works are encouraged. Complete works are preferred but excerpts from larger works will be considered.

Goat Hall will select 4-6 vocal works for performance at Fresh Voices XVII. There will be four performances in Vallejo, California, at Bay Area Stage on Saturday/Sunday August 5-6 and August 12-13. All performances will be at 8:00PM. There will be eight rehearsals per work and rehearsals will occur on Saturdays and/or Sundays. There will also be two Friday dress rehearsals at the theater on August 4 and 11.

The production costs for the Festival are covered in part by grants, donations, and ticket sales; however, these sources are not always sufficient to fund the entire event. For that reason, composers selected to participate may be asked to share in covering any gap in production costs for rehearsals and performances. Costs will be prorated based on the length and complexity of the works and the number of singers required to perform them. Selected composers will be advised of all costs prior to committing to participate.

All composers living in Northern California are eligible to participate.

• Submit a printed copy of the final vocal score of a work that has not been professionally performed. Composers may submit one work only. Works may include 1-5 voices a cappella or with piano accompaniment. Materials submitted do not need to be anonymous.

(Works requiring instruments other than or in addition to piano will be considered, but the composer assumes responsibility for
securing and paying the additional musicians. The musicians must be able to meet the Festival’s rehearsal schedule.)

• Submit one CD with a MIDI or live audio/video recording of the work.
• If you are submitting excerpts from a larger work, you need only send the relevant portions of the score and a recording of those sections.
• Submit an info sheet which includes the title of the work, the composer’s name and contact information including address, phone, email address and website, and a 250-word bio. The info sheet should also include program notes up to 250 words for the work or for any extracts being submitted.
• If the libretto or texts used in the work are not in the public domain, then submit a letter from the copyright owner confirming permission for their use.
• Mail the printed score, recording, and info sheet by May 1, 2017 to:

Goat Hall Productions
Attn: Harriet March Page
189 Rainier Circle
CA 95687

• Composers will receive an email confirmation that their submission packages were received.
• Selected composers will be notified no later than May 30, 2017.
• Submitted materials for works that are not selected will be returned.

Email Harriet March Page at

Goat Hall Productions Fresh Voices Festivals are funded in part
by a generous grant from the Anne and Gordon Getty Foundation

 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
Web Site: