American Lyric Theater Launches ‘Aria Access Project’

By David Salazar

American Lyric Theater has announced the “Aria Access Project,” a free hub of downloadable contemporary aria sheet music written by ATL’s Composer Librettist Development Program.

The goal is to drive up awareness of contemporary works being created by a diverse array of composers and librettists. The hub features works that have been premiered or are set for premieres; there are also scores that remain unpublished.

At its launch, there are a total of 20 downloadable arias, free as PDFs for educational or audition purposes. Arias include derive from such operas as “Buried Alive” by Jeff Myers and Quincy Long; “Embedded” by Patrick Soluri and Deborah Brevoort; “The Halloween Tree”  by Theo Popov and Tony Asaro; “The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing” by Justine F. Chen and David Simpatico; “The Long Walk” by Jeremy Howard Beck and Stephanie Fleischmann; “La Reina” by Jorge Sosa and Laura Sosa Pedroza; and “The Selfish Giant” by Clarice Assad and Lila Palmer, among others.

“The idea for the Aria Access Project emerged after many years of sitting in auditions where we’ve asked singers to include a 21st century aria,” said Lawrence Edelson, Founder, Artistic Director, and General Director of American Lyric Theater, in an official statement. “Unfortunately, emerging singers often don’t have contemporary arias in their repertoire, or their idea of ‘contemporary’ is limited to mid-20th century works, and thus not representative of the current American opera scene. When singers do come prepared with 21st century arias, they are invariably the same ones from frequently performed and already published operas. Through this project, American Lyric Theater seeks to shine a light on some of the remarkable composers and librettists creating new operas, whose scores are not yet published and that haven’t yet had multiple productions — building awareness of and access to these exciting works for music educators and singers alike.”