Academic journal article Journal of Singing

THE OPERA AMERICA SONGBOOK. New Songs Commissioned in Celebration of the Opening of the National Opera Center

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

THE OPERA AMERICA SONGBOOK. New Songs Commissioned in Celebration of the Opening of the National Opera Center

Article excerpt

THE OPERA AMERICA SONGBOOK. New Songs Commissioned in Celebration of the Opening of the National Opera Center. For Voice and Piano. Edited by Christopher Cerrone, Juan Pablo Contreras, and Scott Wollschleger. Schott Music Corporation, 2012.

Since OPERA America's inaugural meeting in 1970, the organization has supported through discussion, grants, and technical assistance the creation of new opera companies and new operatic works, so that we now have an established American opera repertoire. The opening of the National Opera Center in 2012 has finally given OPERA America an administrative and creative home. Located in midtown Manhattan, the center offers dedicated space to the opera community for auditions, rehearsals, and recording. There are ten studios, an audition hall, a large rehearsal hall, and a learning center available for rental to individuals and organizations.

"Believing that the creation of art should mark every special occasion" (Foreword), OPERA America commissioned seventy composers to write a song that "celebrates the opening of a new home, the joy of singing or the excitement of new beginnings." The composers invited have all been previously associated with OPERA America in some capacity. Forty-six composers are represented in this collection with a great variety of text choices and composition styles.

The songs can be loosely grouped into those that were composed with the specific occasion in mind, those that refer in some way to home or a house, those that refer to sound or singing, and those that seem to have only a tenuous relationship to the theme of the collection. Some of the songs have a universal quality that makes them useful in many different performance situations. It is not feasible to review each song here; therefore, only a few of the more universal songs can be viewed in some detail. …

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