ENAensemble
Film. Opera. Cabaret

Serial Opera Composer/Librettist Application

 Below you’ll find the guidelines for the composer/librettist application to the Serial Opera Project for 2019.

Please review these carefully before applying! We look forward to learning about your work! Here’s a pdf of it all, too.

ENAensemble’s Serial Opera Project – Call for Participants

Introduction

The Serial Opera Project is a six-month long serialized opera performance, where each month the next scene is premiered. The first scene, written by award winning author and poet Aleksandar Hut-Kono and ENAensemble Music Director Evan Kassof, will be premiered on March 5th in the Music Department of the Philadelphia Free Library. Each performance is scheduled for the first Tuesday of every month.

Project Outline

We are looking for composer/librettist teams to take on each scene and create their own operatic response to the initial premise devised by the ENA team. ENAensemble will provide a set number of singers and instrumentalists (usually, 2 singers, and 3-4 instrumentalists) who will perform the scene. The composer/librettist team will be brought into the development of the scene before theirs as a way of creating continuity between the scenes, although continuity is not a requisite of the works.

Timeline Example

This timeline represents the experience of Team 3, who will be writing for the May 7th performance.

March 5th – Attend premiere of Scene 1, meet ENAensemble members and other composer/librettist teams.

March 6th – April 2nd – Follow along with developments and rehearsals of Team 2.  Start work on the libretto and musical ideas based on the Team 2 piece.

April 2nd – Attend premiere of Scene 2. Take over as lead composer/librettist for May 7th performance.

During this month, work with ENAensemble members to develop the theatrical components (specific props, costumes, etc.) Additionally, help bring the next composer/librettist team on-board and collaborate with them in the development of their scene.

April 4nd – distribute completed draft score to singers and instrumentalists (additional changes are welcome as we work together on putting the work on its feet, but a completed draft is required to do that).

May 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th – Attend daily workshop rehearsals with the cast and crew and participate in devising the production.

May 7th – Attend the premiere.

Importantly, as detailed as this timeline is, the idea is that each team brings their own creative process to this project. That includes every kind of aesthetic, stylistic, etc. design one can imagine. The goal here is to serve the larger premise through dramatic, episodic interpretations. How you do that is up to you, and is why this project is designed the way it is. To these ends, we STRONGLY encourage writers and music makers who work in styles and genres not normally associated with “O”pera, and who can bring new and diverse perspectives to consider applying. At the end of the project, ENAensemble will present all six scenes as a continuous production during the 2019 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Eligibility

Everyone is eligible to apply, we ask however that you:

·         Attend the month before your premiere

·         Agree to strictly meet the deadlines given in the Timeline example above (And worked out specifically with each team)

·         Attend all of the rehearsals for your performance (the weekend before the performance)

·         Attend the performance

·         Agree to participate in the promotion of their work and of the Serial Opera as a whole

Project Outcomes

Composer/Librettist Teams will do the following:

·         Work with ENAensemble to create an ~10 minute –long operatic scene

·         Fit their scene into the larger dramatic premise of the project

·         Write only for the provided forces (singers and performers). Electronics may be possible and will have to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis

ENAensemble will do:

·         Workshop, rehearse, and perform the scene you write in a staged production at the Music Department of the Philadelphia Free Library.

·         Provide recordings of the workshops and performances

·         Work with you to help you develop your ideas, overcome obstacles, and create the best-possible work

Application Requirements

Composer/Librettist Teams should submit the following:

·         A general synopsis of a potential response to the original Premise (included below). Essentially saying: “our scene takes place in the elevator where an old woman and a boy knit together while waiting for the doors to close.” Include ideas about how the music might work with the text, as well as how you imagine the previous scene and the following scene might go. This is not necessarily what you will actually write, but it is useful to get a sense of how you are working as a team to interpret the dramatic structure of the work.

·         2-3 scores and recordings of your work that best demonstrates your potential approach to this project. Vocal music preferred, but what you think is best is best to use in this application!

·         2-3 writing samples that best demonstrate your potential approach to this project. Libretti are preferred (especially if they have been set to music or recorded), but what you think best represents you is what is best for this application.

·         Short (250 words) biography for the composer and librettist each.

·         Briefly discuss when/if your team collaborative has already worked together.

·         Your month preferences/availabilities for the project, picking a preferred date and a back-up date from the calendar below.  (For all dates attendance is required except the Start Date, parts are turned in online).

·         Teams for the first and second episodes have already been sorted (but the dates are provided below as helpful guide for the timeline). Please consider only dates from the March 5th start day onward.


Premise

                The main focus of this project is having each episode set in the same apartment building with a problematic (noisy, broken, unreliable) elevator. How the characters interact within (and between) each episode is up to you. Some initial ideas when developing the premise included: strangers getting trapped in the elevator together, a disgruntled maintenance person terrorizing the tenants, paranormal/psychedelic events on the elevator, and – what we’re doing for the first episode: a frustrated mom in the apartment next to the elevator constantly being interrupted by the noise who finds out her mom has cancer. Any direction you can imagine to take the interactions caused by, around, or within an elevator in an apartment building are fine!


 

Event

Evan + Aleks

Event

Team 4

Start Date

Sunday, Jan 20

Start Date

Tuesday, Apr 02

Performance/Take-Over Day

N/A

Performance/Take-Over Day

Tuesday, May 07

Parts Due

Sunday, Feb 10

Parts Due

Thursday, May 09

Rehearsal 1

Friday, Mar 01

Rehearsal 1

Friday, May 31

Rehearsal 2

Saturday, Mar 02

Rehearsal 2

Saturday, Jun 01

Rehearsal 3

Sunday, Mar 03

Rehearsal 3

Sunday, Jun 02

Dress

Monday, Mar 04

Dress

Monday, Jun 03

Performance

Tuesday, Mar 05

Performance

Tuesday, Jun 04

Event

Michael + Traci

Event

Team 5

Start Date

Early February

Start Date

Tuesday, May 07

Performance/Take-Over Day

Tuesday, Mar 05

Performance/Take-Over Day

Tuesday, Jun 04

Parts Due

Thursday, Mar 07

Parts Due

Thursday, Jun 06

Rehearsal 1

Friday, Mar 29

Rehearsal 1

Friday, Jun 28

Rehearsal 2

Saturday, Mar 30

Rehearsal 2

Saturday, Jun 29

Rehearsal 3

Sunday, Mar 31

Rehearsal 3

Sunday, Jun 30

Dress

Monday, Apr 01

Dress

Monday, Jul 01

Performance

Tuesday, Apr 02

Performance

Tuesday, Jul 02

Event

Team 3

Event

Team 6

Start Date

Tuesday, Mar 05

Start Date

Tuesday, Jun 04

Performance/Take-Over Day

Tuesday, Apr 02

Performance/Take-Over Day

Tuesday, Jul 02

Parts Due

Thursday, Apr 04

Parts Due

Thursday, Jul 04

Rehearsal 1

Friday, May 03

Rehearsal 1

Friday, Aug 02

Rehearsal 2

Saturday, May 04

Rehearsal 2

Saturday, Aug 03

Rehearsal 3

Sunday, May 05

Rehearsal 3

Sunday, Aug 04

Dress

Monday, May 06

Dress

Monday, Aug 05

Performance

Tuesday, May 07

Performance

Tuesday, Aug 06