American Lyric Theater Announces New Resident Artists of Composer Librettist Development Program

By Logan Martell

American Lyric Theater has announced the three composers and librettists that have been selected to join the Composer Librettist Development Program as Resident Artists.

The composers are Jasmine Arielle Barnes, Johanny Navarro, and Alex Weiser; the librettists are Joshua Banbury, Deobrah D.E.E.P. Mouton, and Marcus Yi. They will begin their fellowships in September, and will receive two years of professional mentorship, along with direct financial support, as they develop their craft.

This season’s Resident Artists were selected from over 200 applicants; this season was also notable as ALT removed the requirement of New York residency to be considered, allowing the organization to draw from a broader range of talent. The panel was comprised of distinguished artists and administrators, such as ALT founder Lawrence Edelson, Associate Artistic Director Kelly Kuo, composer/librettist Mark Adamo, dramaturg Cori Ellison, Fort Worth Opera General Director Afton Battle, Portland Opera Artistic Director Pritti Ghandi, Eastman School of Music Director Timothy Long, Director of Hispanic Initiatives at San Diego Opera Andrea Puente Catan, Opera San Jose Director Monica Thakkar, and Professor of Voice at Yale School of Music Adriana Zabala.

On this extra artistic support, Edelson writes: “unpaid residencies assume a certain degree of privilege in order for artists to be able to participate. Furthermore, we know that there are many exciting artists from diverse backgrounds with an interest in writing for the opera stage who do not live in New York City. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that we can and must challenge the norms under which we’ve been operating and adapt to better serve the field nationally. The significant stipend, combined with a more flexible, hybrid program structure that combines virtual learning with in-person residencies, has opened the door to the CLDP for so many artists who otherwise would not be able to participate.”