UMD School of Music and The Clarice Artist Partner Program - Call for Proposals for New Opera

As part of an ongoing dedication to cultivating and performing new work, the Maryland Opera Studio (MOS) and the Artist Partner Program of The Clarice at the University of Maryland announce the third annual Opera Composition Contest for a new work reading to be performed by the singers of the MOS.  The MOS and The Clarice seek proposals from composers for a $5,000 commissioning award for a February 2019 premiere.  The reading will be recorded and the winning composer will have an opportunity to receive feedback from the artistic team, performers and audience members as appropriate.

Deadline for electronic proposal submissions:  

June 15, 2018 to

Proposals should include:
  • Description of proposed work.
  • Proof of permission for stage adaptation of any projects not in the public domain.
  • Composers:  two examples of previous works demonstrating vocal writing, with at least one example for solo voice. Scores and audio/video recordings (URL to media file of live performance is preferable, but midi rendering is acceptable).
  • Brief bio of composer.
  • Names and email contact information for three (3) artistic references: previous producers, collaborators, mentors, performers or commissioners of the composer’s work.
  • As part of the University of Maryland’s campus-wide initiative Year of (Im)migration, special consideration will be given to topics that focus on immigration and/or migration.
  • Proposed opera will be written for the members of the 1st year graduate program singers of MOS (approximately 12 singers). 
  • Parameters of exact voice types will be confirmed upon award of commission. Roles should be written to feature singers as evenly as possible.
  • Composer is responsible for securing a librettist or serving as his/her own librettist.
  • Proposed opera can be a complete work or one act of a multi-act work.
  • Proposed opera will be semi-staged and performed with piano.
  • Total length of performance is expected to be approximately 45 minutes.
  • Award recipients are responsible for engraving and providing a master piano/vocal score for reproduction.  
  • Award recipients are responsible for obtaining and providing proof of permission for stage adaptation relating to any projects not in the public domain.
  • Winners agree to work collaboratively with MOS artistic team.
  • Winners will be featured in the NextNow Festival (September 2018) to preview portions of work in development and attend rehearsals and performance in February 2019.  Transportation to University of Maryland and housing will be provided.

June 15, 2018:                Proposals Due via Electronic Submission
July 1, 2018:                   Winners Announced
September 2018:            Final Libretto Due and Preview of Initial Musical 
                                         Renderings for Preview at NextNow Festival
December 1, 2018:         Final PV Score Due
February 2019:               Performance at The Clarice, University of Maryland

Questions should be directed to Craig Kier (Director, Maryland Opera Studio) at

About the Maryland Opera Studio

Both a performing ensemble and graduate program of the University of Maryland School of Music, The Maryland Opera Studio (MOS) prepares the next generation of great singers through a curriculum that encompasses all areas of vocal and theatrical training. Through performances that range from the classic repertoire to provocative new works, MOS builds audiences and advances the art that sustains them. Numerous productions throughout the year give MOS students performance opportunities unmatched by any opera program in the nation and offer the University and our wider community unparalleled cultural experiences. For more information, please visit the Maryland Opera Studio website.

About the Artist Partner Program 

The Artist Partner Program at The Clarice curates a multi-arts performance series with regional, national and international artists and creative innovators. The program is dedicated to creating performance and learning opportunities for our students and our community through artist residencies, workshops, master classes, K-12 student matinees, and artistic exchange. We believe artists can be catalyst for community change, leadership and empowerment.

As part of a major public research university, the Artist Partner Program is committed to the creation and investigation of new work and new ways of participating in the performing arts.

The Artist Partner Program has three primary missions:

  1. To supplement and extend the academic learning and investigation of the classroom for UMD students;
  2. To provide artistic and cultural opportunities as part of the UMD experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends;
  3. To enhance and develop the artistic and cultural ecology of the community that surrounds and supports the university.

As part of The Clarice, the Artist Partner Program collaborates with the School of Music, the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in building the future of the arts.