The Atlanta Opera Announces Finalists for 2nd Annual 96-Hour Opera Project

By Logan Martell

The Atlanta Opera has announced the five creative teams selected to participate in its second annual 96-Hour Opera Project.

The composer/librettist teams are: Jorge Sosa and Alejandro Martinez, Omar Najmi and Catherine Yu, Dave Ragland and Selda Sahin, Edward Shilts and Laura Barati, and Nathan Felix and Anita Gonzalez. The stories for the opera will be drawn from the lives of notable Atlanta locals who have been laid to rest at Oakland Cemetary.

This competition sees composers and librettists paired up to create 10-minute operas, which will then be workshopped and presented in a free, public performance at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College. The winning team will receive a $10k prize, as well as a commission for a new chamber opera with the company in their upcoming season.

This year’s panel is comprised of distinguished judges such as Mark Campbell, Doug Hooker, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Tazewell Thompson, Priti Gandhi, and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden.

“The rich history of Atlanta rests not only in the lives of the most famous, but in the courage and strength of even the most unrecognized people,” said company General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun in an official press statement. “Our goal is to lift up the inspirational stories that reflect the multicultural history of Atlanta and to amplify the voices of a diverse group of talented emerging creators.”