Mission: American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 to build a new body of operatic repertoire for new audiences by nurturing composers and librettists, developing sustainable artistic collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon.
Results: Composer Librettist Development Program: Founded in 2007, the CLDP is the first (and still, the only) full time professional mentorship program for gifted emerging operatic writers in the United States.
Commissions: ALT Commissioned The Golden Ticket, a new opera based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, from American composer Peter Ash and British Librettist Donald Sturrock in 2007. The Golden Ticket received its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2010 in a co-production between OTSL, Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (who presented the European premiere in October 2010), and ALT. In 2010, ALT commissioned The Poe Project, a trilogy of new one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. ALT is currently developing 2 additional full-length works, including La Reina by Jorge Sosa, an electro-acoustic opera with text in Spanish and English that draws its narrative from the ongoing war against drugs in the United States and Mexico.
Programs: Composer librettist development program - mentorship: alt continued to offer its acclaimed composer librettist development program in 2013. This program is the most extensive of its kind in the united states: a full-time resident artist program for emerging writers for the opera stage. The cldp includes a core curriculum of classroom training and hands-on workshops with some of the country's leading working artists, including composer/librettist mark adamo; composer paul moravec; dramaturg cori ellison; stage director lawrence edelson; and librettist mark campbell. In addition to ongoing classes and workshops, composers and librettists in the program take part in residency observerships at the metropolitan opera, during which time they have the opportunity to explore the rehearsal process of fully staged operatic productions. This combination of opportunities provides comprehensive and unique mentorship to those writing for the opera stage. (a total of 18 artists were served through the cldp)
composer librettist development program - commissions: in 2014, alt continued development of 4 commissioned operas: la reina by jorge sosa and laura sosa pedroza; the turing project by justine f. Chen and david simpatico; the long walk by jeremy howard beck and stephanie fleischmann; and jfk, by david t. Little and royce vavrek. (8 artists were served directly by the commissioning program).
composer librettist development program - workshops: in 2014, alt held developmental workshops for the operas being developed under the auspices of the company's mentorship program, as well as for works commissioned by the company. These included libretto workshops and piano/vocal workshops, which were carried out to provide artists with the resources necessary to further develop their operas in progress. Public concert readings of works in process were held throughout the year at the national opera center, merkin concert hall, and the dimenna center for classical music in manhattan. (over 1000 people attended public events in person, and thousands of people viewed these programs online).
opera production: american lyric theater oversaw the creation of a new opera production.
ALT has it all for an aspiring composer or librettist to enter the exciting realm of opera: dedicated artistic director, distinguished knowledgeable faculty, and talented performers. It makes a sharp accent on the art (and challenge) of collaboration on the path of creating the American opera. Four resident composers have an opportunity to collaborate with four librettists on a rotating basis (and vise versa). The program moves in extremely fast tempo and is very informative. It also brings you in the network of opera creators. I hope for the continuous relationship with ALT for my future operatic projects.
Professional with expertise in this field
My year as a member of the Composer Librettist Development Program has most definitely been one of the best for professional development. The lessons on collaboration, challenging assignments, mentorships by world-class opera geniuses and constant inspiration to create new art is absolutely unique and I consider it a blessing to have been a part of it.
I've been a resident artist with American Lyric Theater for the past year and the experience has been amazing. I came to the program from the theater/playwriting world and its immersive process has been invaluable. My first libretto will be performed in less than two months and it's an exciting time. This is a terrific organization, doing the kind of work that nobody else is doing.
I'm currently a resident artist within ALT's Composer Librettist Development Program, and I'm continually amazed by this invaluable experience. I'd very much like to make writing opera a part of my career, and this program provides critical opportunities to make that a reality. Where else can one learn about all aspects of opera, present new work with professional performers, receive feedback from top-tier mentors, meet and collaborate with a number of other writers, discuss the writing and collaborative process, and continually improve one's skills? ALT's Composer Librettist Development Program is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Professional with expertise in this field
ALT has been my entry into the opera world. As a composer in their Composer/Librettist development program, I was introduced to two librettists which I am now collaborating with. Now I am working on two new operas, one of which is an ALT commission. Because of ALT, I am hopeful that I will develop a career writing operas with confidence and a level of understanding which few composers have in the early stages of development.
This is a great program! I was one of the artists in their pilot Composer/Librettist Development program. I received invaluable training that was top-notch in every regard. I have had new opportunities in my writing career as a result of the training (and contacts) I rec'd through ALT, and I have found new collaborators. I can't recommend this program enough. If you want to write for the opera, this is the place to do it!