FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Las Vegas, Nevada—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $10,000 to Opera Las Vegas for its Living Composers Initiative. This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.
“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like Opera Las Vegas for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”
OLV General Director Jim Sohre said, “As Nevada’s only professional company member in Opera America, it is humbling and gratifying to be honored with this grant that will help provide exposure and recognition to talented creators, who are keeping the operatic art form vibrant and contemporary for today’s audiences. We are deeply grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for this meaningful support and generous commitment.”
OLV’s Living Composers Initiative began in April 2019 when the company collaborated with Vegas City Theatre (formerly Cockroach Theatre) to present the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s “27,” about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and the circle of world famous artists and writers who passed through their Parisian salon located at 27 Rue du fleuris. The composer and librettist were in attendance, gave a lecture presentation to UNLV voice students, hosted a pre-show salon presentation, and were honored by Mayor Carolyn Goodman who proclaimed 27 April 2019 as “27 Day” in Las Vegas.
This season saw the company schedule two more West Coast premieres: Sasha Matson’s Cooperstown – A Jazz Opera in Nine Innings, with the composer in attendance; and Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg, postponed by COVID-19 precautions to next season, when this opera about the unlikely friendship of these two Supreme Court justices will be presented in the site-specific Thomas and Mack Moot Court at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law. At least one other new work will be added to OLV’s spring schedule as part of its ongoing Living Composers Initiative.