OPERA America has awarded a Commissioning Grant for Female ComposersÂ to Houston Grand Opera for Turn and Burn, my upcoming opera with librettist Megan Cohen!
In Turn and Burn, small-town barrel racing champion Shayla Taylor and ambitious executive Jamie Hernandez aim for a big win at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When an accident threatens Shaylaâ€™s career-defining race, the women discover each otherâ€™s strength in adversity. OurÂ original story informed by interviews with rodeo athletes offers a feminist perspective on contemporary rodeo culture.
A 70-minute one act opera for five singers with an eight-piece amplified chamber-rock ensemble, Turn and Burn is scheduled for a World Premiere production with stage direction by Leslie Swackhamer in Houston next year.
OPERA America’s grant incentivizes opera companies in the United States to commission and produce works by female composers. In addition to Houston Grand Opera’s commission of my work, recipients this year include Beth Morrison Projects for Du Yunâ€™s â€œIn Our Daughterâ€™s Eyes,â€ which is written by Michael Joseph McQuilken; Boston Lyric Opera for Ellen Reid and librettist Christopher Oscar PeÃ±aâ€™s â€œThe Desert Inn;â€ Guerilla Opera for â€œHER: alive / un / dead: a media operaâ€ by Emily Koh; HERE for Heather Christianâ€™s â€œA Practical Breviary: Terce;â€ Opera on Tap for Kamala Sankaram and librettist Kristin Martingâ€™s â€œJoan of the City;â€ Opera Orlando for Stella C. Y. Sung and librettist Mark Campbellâ€™s â€œThe Secret River;â€ Opera Philadelphia for Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrekâ€™s â€œThe Listeners;â€ and The American Opera Project for Rima Fan and librettist Karen Fisherâ€™s â€œPrecipice.â€
I am honored to be included in such accomplished and visionary company!