Opera Fusion: New Works

Opera Fusion Logo

Opera Fusion: New Works, now in its third year, is a program whose goal is to contribute to the vitality of opera in North America through the development and production of new operatic works. Funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency.

Learn more about Opera Fusion's 2013 residencies.

The program is a collaboration between CCM's Opera program and Cincinnati Opera, building on a successful four-year partnership through The Corbett Foundation Opera Fusion Program.

The co-artistic directors of Opera Fusion: New Works are Robin Guarino, J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at CCM, and Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera.


Required Materials for Submission
All materials must be submitted in .pdf, .m4a, or .mp3 file formats via online application. Please do not mail any materials.


Applications must include the following items:

  • Composer/librettist contact information and consent to application terms.
  • A creative brief of the work, including the artistic goals of the creative team, a history of the work’s development, a summary/synopsis, and proof of underlying rights, if the source material is not original or in the public domain. (.pdf)
  • A full libretto. (.pdf)
  • Piano/vocal score of the full piece, or as much as is currently written. The pages that represent the strongest 20-25 minutes of the piece must be identified. (.pdf)
  • Orchestral score of the full piece, or as much as is currently written. The same 20-25 minutes of the piece must be identified. If the piece being submitted is not yet orchestrated, an orchestral score from another piece that uses either similar forces or style will be sufficient. (.pdf)
  • Recording of the strongest 20-25 minutes of the piece: live recording, midi-demo (not recommended), or composer play through (.mp3 or .m4a)
  • Biography/CV of the composer and/or librettist. (.pdf)

Criteria for Entry
The advising committee will be asked to make recommendations based on the following criteria:

  • The work defines itself as an opera, with music and words serving a theatrical purpose. Score and libretto are stage-worthy and crafted with dramatic savvy.
  • Submitted material shows technical skill in composition for vocal writing and instrumental ensemble.
  • The creators have a unique voice with the potential to enrich the operatic literature.
  • The topic and subject matter of the opera are vital, exceptional, relevant, and well-suited to a music-theater form. We seek fluent, authentic, original storytelling that reflects the complexity of the human spirit.
  • The composer/librettist will find it beneficial to workshop the existing material within the context of a 10-day workshop with singers and the infrastructure provided.
  • The material is performable based on the resources available to the project.
  • The work contributes to a wider diversity of styles and perspectives of the art form.
  • All entries must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • The program is open only to composers who are U.S. citizens or legal residents currently living in the United States of America.
  • The work may not have had a professional stage premiere; if a stage premiere is anticipated, it must take place after the Opera Fusion: New Works workshop dates.
  • Traditional and non-traditional operatic forms and musical styles are welcome.
  • Composer or composer/librettist team must be physically present for the entire 10-day workshop. Please do not apply for this program if you are unable to travel to Cincinnati.
  • An accepted work will be presented subject to the following conditions:
  • In the event of future presentations or productions of the selected work, a credit citing the participation of Opera Fusion: New Works in the development of the work must be included in publicity and program materials.
  • These dates are firm and non-negotiable. If you cannot meet the submission deadline or cannot attend the workshop if your work is selected, please do not apply for the program this year.

Important Dates:

Opera Fusion: New Works is not currently accepting applications. Please look for an update on future workshops in the coming months.
  • Submission deadline: 11:59 p.m. May 18, 2012
  • Announcement of winning submissions: July 15, 2012
  • Workshop 1: October 18-28, 2012
  • Workshop 2: November 5-15, 2012

Questions? Please email

Opera Fusion: New Works welcomes applications for new operatic works at various stages of development, but focuses on work that is ready to be explored musically and dramatically in a well-funded and conducive environment. Works are reviewed and selected by the co-artistic directors in tandem with an advisory board made up of artists and professionals from the world of opera and theatre.

The Opera Fusion: New Works workshops take place at both CCM and Cincinnati Opera locations. Both organizations are equipped with state-of-the art facilities, well-designed and spacious rehearsal rooms, private studios and performance venues. Performers will be cast from CCM Opera and the University of Cincinnati’s TAPAA (Theatre Arts, Production and Administration) Division, one of the foremost opera and theatre training programs in North America, in addition to casting professional singers as necessary. Cincinnati Opera provides administrative and logistical support. The composer or composer/librettist team receives an honorarium and per diem, as well as round-trip transportation and accommodations for the duration of the workshop.

The goal of Opera Fusion: New Works is to provide an environment where the composer or composer/librettist team can focus on the development of their work. The residency environment is designed to be inspiring and collaborative, and encourage exploration, innovation, and artistic growth. To that end, all workshops are presented as "readings." Video recordings will be made at different times throughout the workshop to document the process. The composer or composer/librettist team is provided with the following human resources to support the workshop and artistic process: music director, stage director, dramaturg, stage manager, workshop coordinator, 7-10 principal singers and two pianists. In the case of choral writing, every effort will be made to provide at least an SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) ensemble to represent the vocal parts. At the conclusion of the 10-day workshop, there will be a final reading at which a professional audio/visual recording will be made as an archive, developmental resource and promotional tool. The invited audience will include professionals from the field, representatives from opera companies and potential co-producers, in addition to the advisory panel, as available. The residency will conclude with a "next steps" meeting with the composer or composer/librettist team and co-artistic directors. In select cases, a piece may be invited to return for a second developmental workshop the following year.

Opera Fusion: New Works is open to composers or composer/librettist teams of proven artistic merit who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. There are no age restrictions. Completed works and works-in-progress will be equally considered, provided an excerpt of at least 20 minutes in length accompanies this application. A completed libretto and an example of vocal writing must accompany the submission.

Works which have not received a U.S. premiere are eligible to apply. All entries will be reviewed by the co-artistic directors and an advisory panel comprised of opera professionals and experts from the field of opera and theater.