Emergence Composition Fellowship

The inaugural Emergence Composition Fellowship will award five composers a commission to write a micro-opera for Guerilla Opera.

This project was funded in part by an Innovation Grant from Opera America.

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Winners of the 2019-20 Emergence Composition Fellowship will receive $1000 to collaborate with Guerilla Opera on a micro-opera for a performance at Brandeis University* on March 14, 2020.

Fellows also receive a multi-angle video recording of the premiere and exclusive access to our online Opera Development Workshop with courses on libretto development, design, vocal/instrumental demos, and more. We will also offer live-streamed workshop events including a libretto reading, piano-vocal workshop, and full music workshops to help fellows prepare a fully realized work and gain experiential knowledge on writing an opera.

This application is FREE.

*As part of our collaboration with Brandeis, one fellow will be chosen from Brandeis University to participate in this year’s fellowship program.


Fellowship Application Form

Applications are due August 1, 2019 at 11:59 ET

Fellows will be expected to compose a short work, no longer than 10 minutes, for our small chamber ensemble, which is unique to Guerilla Opera.

Composers with works described in the following ways are welcome to apply: short opera, contemporary theater, musical theater, theatrical concert work, or may be an excerpt from a larger planned work.

Instrumentation for planned works will not include piano. They can be any combination of the following instrumentation, but must not exceed six people on stage:

  • Three vocalists (soprano plus two other voices to be determined by Guerilla Opera)

  • Clarinet (Bb & Bass doubling)

  • Saxophone (Soprano, Alto and Tenor doubling)

  • Percussion (One percussionist. Mixed percussion and vibes.)

Winners will be announced August 15.

If chosen for a fellowship, please be aware of the following schedule (all events are held in Boston, MA or Haverhill, MA and will be live streamed. Fellows do NOT need to attend events in person, but are encouraged to attend via internet):

  • September 15 - Libretto Draft Deadline

  • Late September - Libretto reading workshop (live-streamed)

  • November 1 - Score sketch deadline

  • Mid-November - Piano/vocal sketch reading (live-streamed)

  • December 15 - Score deadline

  • January 1 - Instrumental parts deadline

  • February 12 - Rehearsals begin

  • March 14 - Semi-Staged PERFORMANCE at Brandeis University

For all links: Google Drive is preferred.

Name *
Please submit a short proposal drafting a project you would want to pursue with Guerilla Opera if awarded a fellowship. Be as specific as possible; use an original project that does not require copyrighted material. NOTE: Guerilla Opera is a self-conducted ensemble with a limited roster of artists. This project will utilize no more than three singers, to be determined by Guerilla Opera, plus an instrumental ensemble of saxophone, clarinet, and percussion.
A mixed chamber ensemble and a score using voice is preferred
A mixed chamber ensemble and a score using voice is preferred
Will you be an enrolled student at Brandeis University in 2019-20? *