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Opera Las Vegas to Receive $16,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

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Opera Las Vegas has been approved for a $16,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support its acclaimed Living Composers and Librettists Initiative.

In the 2021-2022 season, this project will present the West Coast premieres of three chamber operas: Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s The House Without a Christmas Tree; D.J. Sparr, Mark Campbell, and Davis Miller’s Approaching Ali; and Michael Torke and A.R. Gurney’s Strawberry Fields, paired with Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. The project also encompasses the workshop premiere of the LGBT-themed Letters to Lily, by UNLV Composition student Emily Clements.

Opera Las Vegas’ project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding. “As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Opera Las Vegas reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

OLV General Director Jim Sohre noted: “It is very humbling and gratifying to receive this funding, which will greatly assist us in presenting new productions of these worthy recent works. We hope to help cement their stature and presence in the contemporary operatic performing canon.”

Immediately upcoming in the current OLV season’s Living Composers and Librettists Initiative are the West Coast premiere of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg, a love letter to the two iconic Justices, 8-11 July in UNLV’s Moot Court; and the professional company premiere of Evan Mack and Joseph McGuire’s The Ghosts of Gatsby, a compelling look at the relationship of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1-3 October at The Space. These two contemporary works are complemented by an operatic classic, Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale, 11 and 12 June at the Historic fifth Street School.

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