Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am City Opera

Bravo to City Opera for finally taking their situation public. As a young dramatically-minded composer, I have to say that City Opera has always given me hope that all my hard work isn't for nothing.

I remember being an undergrad at NYU and seeing their VOX Festival of works in progress, curated by Mark Adamo, the amazing composer-librettist who would eventually become my teacher. I can't overstate how powerful it is for a young composer to see operas that are brand new, unfinished, imperfect. Operas that are not already lionized as being the zenith of human achievement in the field, and oh yeah, don't bother trying because you can't possibly top this.

It never really occurred to me before then that anyone could write an opera; it seemed more like something old(er) composers did at the peaks of their careers, and why even bother thinking about it at 20? But then the 20-something composer of this new piece bounded on stage after his performance, and he looked sort of like me. And his music sounded sort of like mine. The gauntlet had been thrown.

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