Seattle Opera Announces Creation Lab

By Francisco Salazar

Seattle Opera has announced a new initiative to help cultivate and develop the next generation of opera composers and librettists in Washington State.

The new Creation Lab will seek out 16 emerging composers and writers of all genres to give way to the creation of short operatic pieces, which will be performed during the 2020-21 Season.

In a press statement, General Director Christina Scheppelmann said, “Creation Lab will help to bring diverse stories and perspectives to our art form, and to the operatic repertoire at large. We’re looking for young musical artists in our region who want to gain experience in creating compelling, resonant narratives told through music and singing. A specific opera background is not required.”

Seattle Opera is committed to racial equity, and as such, Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color are encouraged to apply to the new program. Selected participants will develop an opera that’s a maximum of 20 minutes, to be presented in a concert format at the Opera Center in 2021. The creative teams will receive support from professional composers and librettists as they develop their work.

This year, the Creation Lab mentors will include Aishé Keita, Jerre Dye, and Zach Redler, Kamala Sankaram, and Tazewell Thompson.