NEWS: THE CRADLE WILL ROCK selected to present at Opera America 2015

Production proposal for The Cradle Will Rock selected as one of four finalists for the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase of OPERA America, which is “a biennial program that brings emerging talent to the attention of the field, connecting promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers. [The team was] awarded $2,000 to develop their proposals for opera productions. [The work] will be presented at the Opera Conference 2015 in Washington, D.C, to opera producers at a special live-streamed session and to network with conference attendees. Over the next two years, [they] will also have their designs featured in a six-month exhibition at the National Opera Center.”

The production team consisted of frequent collaborators:
Alison Moritz, Director
Charles Murdock Lucas, Scene Designer
Dina Perez, Costume Designer
Kyle Grant, Lighting Designer

For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson; PKJohnson@operaamerica.org




Four Teams Will Present Concepts to Opera Producers at

Opera Conference 2015 in Washington, D.C.

New York, NY – OPERA America is proud to announce the 2015 finalists of the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase, a biennial program offered as part of OPERA America’s continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists. The showcase, made possible through support from the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, was established to bring promising talent to the attention of the field and connect these directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers.

Forty applicant teams of directors and designers each created a production concept for an American opera, chosen from a diverse, curated list. As part of the application process, each team submitted a production concept that included visions for staging, scenery, props, costumes and required personnel.
The Cradle Will Rock (Marc Blitzstein)
Alison Moritz, director
Charles Murdock Lucas, set designer
Dina Perez, costume designer
Kyle Grant, lighting designer

This concept presents The Cradle Will Rock as modern music-theater, not a footnote in the history of 20th-century theater or dated agitprop. The team’s staging uses functional tools to cut artifice and ask big questions: For whom do the people work? Who does the engine of labor serve?

These four production designs were selected by panelists Izumi Ashizawa, director and producer; Todd Hensley, lighting designer and theater consultant, Schuler Shook; Drew Landmesser, deputy general director, Lyric Opera of Chicago; Tobin Ost, scenic and costume designer; and David O. Roberts, costume designer. As opera is an intrinsically collaborative art form, the projects chosen were selected not only because they demonstrate the requisite creativity and skill, but because they display true collaboration, creative vibrancy and collective passion.

The finalist teams will each be given $2,000 to be used toward further research and the production of more comprehensive renderings and models. Each team will also be mentored by one of the panelists as they prepare the final presentation of their designs. Up to two representatives from each team will be provided with transportation, lodging and registration to attend Opera Conference 2015 in Washington, D.C, where they will present their proposals to opera producers at a special live-streamed session as well as network with conference attendees. At the most recent Director-Designer Showcase, held in 2013, over 80 opera producers attended the presentation and more than 18,000 viewed the live stream. Over the next two years, each team will also have their designs featured in a six-month exhibition at the National Opera Center in New York.

Director Walker Lewis, one of the 2013 finalists, stated, "Presenting our work at Opera Conference 2013 provided the opportunity to meet so many opera professionals face to face, forming important relationships that I can now strengthen and nurture for years to come. That experience gave me the confidence to continue expanding my circle of opera colleagues and to think more creatively and boldly about possible opera projects," he continued.

As a direct result of their Showcase experience, members of the 2013 finalist teams received engagements with member opera companies, including Amarillo Opera, American Opera Projects, Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group, Opera Columbus, Opera North, Opera Philadelphia and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. These finalists have also since worked with Central City Opera, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Labyrinth Theater Company, NBC (for the telecast of the Sochi Winter Olympics), Pittsburgh Opera, Second Stage, Tulsa Opera and on various film and television projects.

"OPERA America is uniquely positioned as the field’s convener and connector to advance the careers of the most talented creative artists," stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. "The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase enables us to support the career development of stage directors and designers and, through them, further the artistic development of the opera form."

About OPERA America
OPERA America (operaamerica.org) leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.
  • Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
  • Information, technical and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.

See the full press release, with other finalists here.

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