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Center for Contemporary Opera

New York, NY   

Mission: The Center for Contemporary Opera produces and develops new opera and music theater works and revives rarely seen American operas written after the second World War. In addition to its productions, an important part of its work is the development of new operas. Works are presented at all stages from libretto readings, ateliers, concert versions, to full productions. In line with its mission to promote an interest in new operatic and music-theater culture among the American public, the company publishes a biannual newsletter Opera Today and the magazine New Music Connoisseur which is one of the very few periodicals in the world devoted to contemporary classical music.


Our activities are divided into five general categories: 1) Producing operas in accordance with our mission. 2) Developing new works. 3) Presenting American opera outside our borders. 4) Recording of our operas to make them accessible to a larger audience. 5) Publication of two periodicals documenting contemporary opera, Opera Today  and contemporary music in general, New Music Connoisseur.


Examples of recent activities: In the past three seasons, we have produced four fully staged operas, (the first, three world premieres):  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by John Eaton and The Secret Agent by Michael Dellaira, and Europera V by John Cage and three music-theater works: Socrate by Eric Satie as arranged by John Cage, Accord Discord by Eric Salzman, Oration by Line Tornhoj plus one opera staged without orchestra: Neither by Morton Feldman. We also presented twenty seven operas-in-progress as part of our Development Series and seven libretti through our Prima le Parole programs. We toured Europe with the following works: Latvia: Accord/Discord by Eric Salzman (complete work broadcast on Latvian National Television). Austria: Neither by Morton Feldman presented at Vienna’s famed Konzerthaus. Hungary: The Secret Agent by Michael Dellaira (broadcast live across Europe via the Mezzo fine arts channel, streamed live via the Arte Network of France and Germany and broadcast live via the Duna Hungarian television. France: The Secret Agent by Dellaira, by invitation of Avignon Opera Theatre and released three  commercial recordings: Alice in Wonderland by Westergaard  and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Eaton, and The Secret Agent by Dellaria.


CCO presents William Mayer’s A Death in the Family

An excerpt from the “kitchen scene” Act II, scene 2 of William Mayer’s opera ‘A Death in the Family’, from a production of the Center for Contemporary Opera at the Armel Opera Festival and Szeged National Theatre, Hungary.

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