The Scene


The American Opera Project

The American Opera Project


AOP’s mission is to develop and present new and innovative works of lyric theater, provide a creative home to emerging and established artists, and engage contemporary communities in a transformative operatic experience.


In 2019, American Opera Projects became The American Opera Project. But we are still AOP. As AOP, we continue a proud legacy of being at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for over thirty years through the commissioning, developing, and producing of opera and music-theatre projects, training programs for student and emerging composers and librettists, and community engagement.

AOP has produced over 30 world premieres, including the Nathan Davis/Brendan Pelsue dance chamber opera Hagoromo starring Wendy Whelan (BAM, 2015), Kaminsky/Reed/Campbell’s As One (BAM, 2014), Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom (Irondale Center, 2014), and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind (co-production with Lincoln Center Festival, 2013) and the 2017 co-production with Nashville Opera of Robert Paterson and David Cote’s Three Way (Nashville Opera, BAM Fisher).

Other notable premieres include Kimper/Persons’ Patience & Sarah (1998), Weisman/Rabinowitz’s Darkling (2006), Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking (2008), and Phil Kline’s Out Cold (2012) at BAM.

AOP-developed operas that premiered with co-producers: The Summer King (Sonenberg/Nester/Campbell) at Pittsburgh Opera (2017), Paradise Interrupted (Ruo/Yi/Wen Ma) at Spoleto Festival (2015) and Lincoln Center Festival (2016), The Scarlet Ibis (Weisman/Cote) at PROTOTYPE Festival (2015), Paul’s Case (Spears/Walat) at Urban Arias (2013) and PROTOTYPE Festival (2014), Love/Hate (Perla/Bailis) at ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera (2012), Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness at London’s Royal Opera House (2011), and Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera (2010).

AOP productions have appeared at London’s Royal Opera House, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center Festival, New York City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, the Skirball Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Symphony Space, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, at many out-of-doors performances sponsored by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation.

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