Center for Contemporary Opera
The Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO) is a professional opera company based in New York City, and a member of OPERA America. The company focuses on producing and developing new opera and music theater works and reviving rarely seen American operas written after the second World War. The Center for Contemporary Opera has staged the premieres of many works written during the latter half of the twentieth century. Works are performed at all stages of development from readings to workshops to full productions on the professional stage. In line with its mission to promote an interest in new operatic and music-theater culture among the American public, the company presents panel discussions and colloquia, and publishes a bi-annual newsletter Opera Today. Since 2004, the company has been a regular participant in the New York City Opera's annual festival, "Vox: Showcasing American Composers".
The company was founded in 1982 by Richard Marshall, formerly the head of the Charlotte Opera Association in North Carolina where he had commissioned, produced and conducted the world premiere of Robert Ward's Abelard and Heloise. In March 2008, James E. Schaeffer, Executive Director of Long Leaf Opera Festival in Chapel Hill, North Carolina took over from Marshall as General and Artistic Director. The composer, author and music critic Eric Salzman is the company's Composer in Residence. Its Music Director is Sara Jobin.
Notable premieres performed by the Center for Contemporary Opera include:
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Timothy Sullivan (World Premiere 1987)
- Christopher Sly by Dominick Argento (New York Premiere 1987)
- Insect Comedy - Martin Kalmanoff and Lewis Allen (World Premiere, 1993)
- Transformations by Conrad Susa and Anne Sexton (New York Premiere, 1996)
- Summer by Stephen Paulus and Joan Vail Thorne (New York Premiere, 1998)
- Sorry, Wrong Number by Jack Beeson and Lucille Fletcher (World Premiere, 1999)
- The Postman Always Rings Twice by Stephen Paulus and Colin Graham (New York Premiere, 1998)
- KAFKA: Letter to My Father by Stanley Walden (U. S. Premiere, 2000)
- Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights by Stanley Walden and Gertrude Stein (U.S. Premiere 2002)
- La Priere du Loup by Eric Salzman (U. S. Premiere, 2003)
- Vera of Las Vegas by Daron Hagen and Paul Muldoon (World Staged Premiere, 2003)
- A More Perfect Union by Victoria Bond and Isaiah Sheffer (World Premiere, 2004)"
- Mario and the Magician by Francis Thorne and J.D. McClatchy (First professional performance 2005)
- Alice by Peter Westergaard (World Premiere of work in progress 2006)
- The Secret Agent by Michael Dellaira and J. D. McClatchy
- Francis Thorne: Mario and the Magician (Center for Contemporary Opera, Richard Marshall, conductor, Justin Vickers, Larry Small, Jessica Grigg, Wendy Brown, Richard Cassell) Albany Records TROY832
- OPERA America Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 26 March 2008.
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- Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce, Long Leaf Opera Executive Director named Center for Contemporary Opera Chief Executive Officer Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., March 05, 2008. Accessed 26 March 2008.
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- Kozinn, Allan, An Edith Wharton Novella, Set to Music, New York Times, June 21, 2002. Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Tommasini, Anthony, Two Familiar Tales in Unfamiliar Settings, New York Times, May 28, 1999. Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Holland, Bernard, A Novel Of Lust Becomes An Opera, New York Times, July 2, 1998. Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Holland, Bernard, Giving a Face and a Voice to Kafka's Cruel Fantasy Father, New York Times, June 30, 2000. Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Midgette, Ann Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, New York Times, March 1, 2002. Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Tommasini, Anthony, A Bevy of Eccentrics In a Dreaming Frenzy, New York Times, July 1, 2003.Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Jeremy Eichler, Caught Under the Spell of Mann's Musical Magician, New York Times, May 2, 2005. Accessed 26 March 2008.
- Tommasini, Anthony, 'Alice in Wonderland,' by Peter Westergaard, With Bells and Whistles', New York Times, June 21, 2006. Accessed 26 March 2008.