Washington National Opera Announces 6th Annual American Opera Initiative Festival

By Francisco Salazar

The Washington National Opera has announced the sixth season of its acclaimed American Opera Initiative, a comprehensive commissioning program that brings contemporary American stories to the stage while fostering the talents of rising American composers and librettists.

This year’s festival will include the world premiere of a new hour-long work by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, “Proving Up,” on Jan. 19 and 21, 2018, directed by Alison Moritz and conducted by Christopher Rountree, both in their WNO debuts.

The festival will also include three new pairings of opera composers and librettists. Nathan Fletcher will work alongside Megan Cohen and Gity Razaz will work with Sara Cooper. Meanwhile, John Glover will work with Erin Bregman. Each pairing will offer new, one-act operas during the festival with two semi-staged concert performances of each 20-minute opera to be presented on Jan. 20, 2018.

For the upcoming operas, the three composer-librettist teams of the one-act operas collaborated on their works with distinguished mentors including composer Kevin Puts, librettist Mark Campbell, and conductor George Manahan.