West Edge Opera Continues Aperture Residency for Development of New Works

By Logan Martell

West Edge Opera has announced the continuation of its Aperture’s residency program.

Starting on November 1, 2021, subscribing audiences can watch composer and librettists further their latest works, as well as receive progress reports on all projects supported by their contributions.

Composer and librettist Nicolas Lell Benavides and Marella Martin Koch will return following a successful commission for their new opera “Dolores,” inspired by the life of Mexican-American artist Dolores Huerta. Other returning teams include Matthew Recio and Stephanie Fleishmann, whose upcoming work “L’Autre Moi,” follows Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore on the Isle of Jersey during the rise of Hitler; as well as Ryan Suleiman and Cristina Fries, whose opera “The School for Girls who Lost Everything in the Fire,” tells a coming of age story set in modern day California.

New to the program is composer Carlos Simon, winner of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. He will join librettist Dan Harder to work on “Here I Stand,” an opera about bass-baritone Paul Robeson which has been commissioned by Oakland Symphony for 2023. Also new are Clint Borzoni and John de Los Santos, with their new comedic opera “Niceville,” wherein a young couple new to Florida find themselves caught in the political scandals of their neighbors during the 2000 election.

“Aperture is an amazing step forward in showcasing and advancing new operas which will have something important to say, and say it beautifully,” Music Director Jonathan Khuner in a press statement. “I’m thrilled that we can make further progress this season, and I anticipate that our artists will break forth with even more energy as we ramp back up to normal activity and relationships.”