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Opera America Conference in Pittsburgh

A fun, eye-opening time

After my collaborator jazz composer Alan Chan and I learned we were selected as Opera America's IDEA grantees this year, we were invited and sent to the National Conference in Pittsburgh in May.

In Pittsburgh, we met many wonderful, talented opera-makers from across the country. We were impressed with how the scope of the conference was so large- addressing individual artist to large organizational needs. Alan mentioned this was the most comprehensive conference he's attended. (I don't attend many conferences, but I was also impressed.)

Alan and I with Peggy Monastra, Opera America's Creative Consultant, at our first session

Alan and I with Pamela Jones, Opera America's Artist Development Manager, after the closing session

Pittsburgh Opera hosted a dinner cruise on two tied-together boats of the Gateway Clipper fleet. There was music, cocktails, dinner, over 500 attendees, and lots of fun!  We met many friendly Canadians!

With Alan Chan, Olivia Shortt, Rebecca and Rachel Gray.

With Autumn Coppaway and Olivia Shortt, as we floated past the bridge underpass

Alan and I were invited to set up at a grantees' table in the Exhibitors Hall.

Our one-page/poster for Immortal Labia.

Being a Dartmouth graduate, I was excited to see college friend Jennifer Bowman, after so many years apart! She's now at Houston Grand Opera as Director of Community and Learning, and spoke on a panel about opera audiences.

I also met Dartmouth grad (Music dept grad program) Olivia Shortt, also one of this year's Opera America IDEA grantees; and Dartmouth Music Professor Kui Dong who was an IDEA grantee in a previous year (the conference she was supposed to attend was cancelled at the beginning of the pandemic) which is why we got to meet at the 2023 Conference. 

Here's a picture with all of us at the nerve wrecking yet fun pitching session.

At a librettists' session, I got to hear Anthony Davis and Mark Campbell speak and get pictures with the authors of Pulitzer prize operas. 

And this was also where I met amazing singer-librettist Diana Solomon-Glover!

With Diana Solomon-Glover and Anthony Davis

With Mark Campbell

A souvenir from the cruise! With Olivia Shortt, fellow Opera America IDEA grantee; Autumn Coppaway, Consulting Director of Production for Edmonton Opera; composer Alan Chan, my collaborator and Opera America IDEA grantee, and Gray Sisters Rachel and Rebecca; Canadian librettist and composer.

Extra shots from the Clipper Cruise!

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