Responsible for “changing the face of opera” (The Wall Street Journal), BMP: NEXT GEN returns for the final round of its second cycle, as Beth Morrison Projects’ leaders set out to discover the next generation of boundary-pushing composers. Chosen from a group of ten finalists during Round 1 in 2021 for their “haunting” (Christopher Koelsch, President & CEO at LA Opera) and “stunningly beautiful” (Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Du Yun) work, composers Elizabeth Gartman and Niloufar Nourbakhsh return with their BMP commissioned 30-minute vocal-theatre works, It is a Comfort to Know and Threshold of Brightness respectively. Following the concert, one of the composers will receive a commission for the development and world premiere of a full-length opera. The winner will be announced immediately following the concert on June 24.
Each piece will be performed both nights with Kamna Gupta as music director and the Contemporaneous music ensemble. It is a Comfort to Know by Gartman has a libretto by Susan Bywaters, is directed by Madeline Whitesell, and follows the leader of a death cult and their followers as they anticipate the end of days. Threshold of Brightness by Nourbakhsh has a libretto by Lisa Flanagan, is directed by Shadi Ghaheri, and follows a famous and controversial Iranian poet, Forough Farrokhzad, as she is seriously injured in a car crash and enters a dream-like state where she reckons with the ghosts of her past.
Not based in New York or can’t attend the LIVE event at National Sawdust? Although we’d love to see you in person, we’ve got you covered! On June 24th, BMP will be offering a live stream of the performance. Admission is based on donations. CLICK HERE to learn more. Please note sales will close at 5:30pm ET and that all proceeds will go towards our end of fiscal year fundraiser.
ABOUT BMP: NEXT GEN
First launched in 2017-18, the BMP: Next Gen program was established to help BMP stay connected to a new generation of composers, singers and artists just coming out of school. Aspiring composers from coast to coast are invited to submit vocal works up to ten minutes in length. BMP Creative Producer Beth Morrison and Executive Director Jecca Barry select ten first-round finalists from these applicants and then produce an evening of new music out of these submissions. Two composers are then chosen by a panel of invited professionals in the field for a second-round competition, returning the following year to each showcase a new and original 30-minute work commissioned by BMP. Ultimately, one of these two finalists will receive a commission for an evening-length work, including the development and World Premiere production of their project.
The panelists who selected Gartman and Nourbakhsh to continue on to round 2 were: Christopher Koelsch, CEO, LA Opera; Du Yun, Pulitzer-prize winning composer; David T. Little, Grammy-nominated composer; Beth Morrison, BMP’s President and Creative Producer; and Jecca Barry, BMP’s Executive Director.
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects. BMP: Next Gen was made possible through commissioning and underwriting support from Elizabeth & Justus Schlichting. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts – Art Works. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
"Beth Morrison has changed the face of opera in America by supporting, curating, and producing the work of a whole new generation of composers, librettists, and creators."
on Elizabeth Gartman
on Nilour Nourbakhsh
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