World Premiere

Proving Up

February 4, 7:30pm

Warner Main, Oberlin College


Oberlin Conservatory presents  the Midwest premiere of this opera by Award-winning team of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek.  New Production directed by Christopher Mirto


CLE Opera Theater hosts the

talkback and reception Feb 4, '19

CLE Premiere

Newer Every Day

February 6, 7:00pm

Gamble Auditorium, BW Conservatory

U.S. Orchestral Premiere of

Jake Heggie's song cycle: 

Newer Every Day.  

Featuring Ann Moss, soprano and

the BW Symphony orchestra


Concert performance will also feature the BW Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in additional repertoire.

  Join The Discussion

New Opera Forum

February 7, 8:00pm

Gamble Auditorium, BW Conservatory 

Join the discussion
about new opera about creating, developing, and producing new opera with leaders in the field. 
Featuring a recital 
performance by
Ann Moss, soprano 
Jake Heggie, piano

Opera in Development

Bernarda Alba

February 8, 8:00pm 
Gamble Auditorium
Year 3 of the 4-year developmental process.  Use your voice to help develop new opera.
Scenes from the new Opera by Griffin Candey with libretto by OBIE-Award-winner Caridad Svich based on Garcia Lorca's last play of the same name. 


Composers' Guild
February 9, 8:00p
Fynes Hall - BW Conservatory
Annual {NOW} Fest collaboration with CLE Composers' Guild features workshop performances with piano accompaniment featuring new work from Guild members. 

New Opera Launch

Coal Creek

February 10, 4:00pm

Gamble Auditorium - BW Conservatory

Presented in Collaboration with

Hiram College


Year 1 of a multi-year developmental process of Dawn Sonntag's new opera.  Workshop scenes, staged and performed with chamber ensemble.  Learn about the opera and provide valuable feedback to shape its development.


BGSU MicroOperas

February 10, 8:00pm

Fynes Hall, BW Conservatory 

Presented in Collaboration with BGSU

Newly composed Micro Operas by BGSU student composers.


American Futures Residency

February 4 - 9, 2019
Baldwin Wallace Conservatory
Master Classes, Workshops, Seminars, and more.  Composer Jake Heggie, Soprano Ann Moss, and composer Griffin Candey work with and perform along side Conservatory students while in residence at BW.

FREE Admission to all performances (Donations Accepted)

Annual Festival to Create, Develop, and Perform New Opera

{NOW} Fest '19 is presented in-residence at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. 
Collaborations also with Oberlin Conservatory, Bowling Green State University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Hiram College, and the Cleveland Composers’ Guild.

About {NewOperaWorks} Festival

Annual event to Create, Develop, and Perform New Opera

The Future of Opera is {NOW}

Cleveland Opera Theater launched {NOW} Fest in 2017 with the vision to develop an international destination event for new opera.  The festival grew from 87 attendees in 2017 to 551 in 2018.  Your support continues the growth of this important festival.


A unique blend of process and performance, {NOW Fest} presents new opera at the beginning, middle, and end of creative development, ranging from readings and workshops to complete productions.  Repertoire includes work commissioned and developed by Cleveland Opera Theater and in partnership with other opera companies and institutions, and also presents repertoire produced by other organizations in conjunction with the festival.  {NOW Fest} provides unique opportunities for audience members to engage with the creative teams in talk-back sessions following performances.


{NOW Fest} leverages collaborations with internationally recognized partners and artists and students in Greater Cleveland to create needed opportunities for new opera to be seen and heard, and gives voice to composers, librettists, and other artists seeking to develop and perform their work. 


{NOW Fest}’19 is presented in-residence at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, and in collaboration with Hiram College, The Cleveland Composers’ Guild, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Bowling Green State University.  {NOW Fest}’19 is coordinated with the American Futures Residency, which brings three exceptional artists: Jake Heggie, composer and pianist of international renown; Griffin Candey, ascendant composer; and Ann Moss, acclaimed soprano and champion of contemporary music, to Baldwin Wallace to work with Conservatory students in residence February 4 - 9, 2019.

Let your voice be heard

Engage with the creative team and performing artists in talk back sessions that follow {NOW} Fest performances.  Share what moves you, discuss ideas, and let your voice be heard in the creation and development of new opera.


Help produce new opera

We need your support to sustain this vital work. 

No contribution is too small to help foster new opera. 


Please donate to today:

Cash or Check: Talk to a Cleveland Opera Theater Staff member on-site at a performance or via credit card here

New Opera Repertoire Commissions

The House of Bernarda Alba, is our first commissioned work and our current opera in development within the {NOW} Festival. This opera is based on Garcia Lorca's final play and features an all female cast, and bi-lingual (English / Spanish) libretto written by OBIE-Award-Winning librettist, Caridad Svich, with music by rising star composer, Griffin Candey.  {NOW} Fest '19 presents year 3 of the 4-year process: 2017 Play Reading, 2018 Libretto Workshop, 2019 Piano / Voice Workshop, 2020 World Premiere.

Mid-West, Regional, and Cleveland Premiere Full Productions

  • Du Yun and librettist Royce Vavrek's Angel's Bone (co-production with Oberlin Conservatory)

  • Dawn Sonntag's Verlorene Heimat (in Collaboration with the Cleveland Composers' Guild)

  • Larry Delinger's Amelia Lost (co-production with Marble City Opera)

  • Nkeiru Okoye's, Harriet Tubman: When I crossed that line to freedom (co-production with Oberlin Conservatory)

  • Frédéric Chaslin and librettist P.H. Fisher's Clarimonde (co-production with On Site Opera and Cleveland Public Theatre)



Workshops and Previews:

  • New Opera Scenes in Collaboration with the Cleveland Composer's Guild - World Premiere.

  • The Story of An Hour by Scott Little and Tim Tibbitts - Workshop Reading

  • We've Got Our Eye on You by Nkeiru Okoye and David Cote'sFull Libretto reading and preview of Act I.

Critical Acclaim for New Opera

"Cleveland Opera Theater unveils the future of opera with cutting-edge NOW Festival" (preview)
-Plain Dealer read more
CLE Opera Theater earned critical acclaim for productions of new operas before launching the {NOW} Festival:
The Midwest premiere of Nkeiru Okoye's new opera Harriet Tubman: When I crossed that line to freedom (2016) offered "an emotionally charged and musically sublime experience" in a touring co-production with Oberlin Opera Theater that reached diverse audiences throughout Northeast Ohio at five venues. 
A Streetcar Named Desire (2015 )was a "powerful and relevant experience, with first-rate stage direction,
good singers and a sure baton directing the surging score."
Cleveland Opera Theater "seduced listeners" with the new Vampire opera, Clarimonde, in 2014

{NOW} Festival Annual Programming:


New Opera Commissions

New operas commissioned by Cleveland Opera Theater, or co-commissioned in partnership with other opera companies and developers of new opera.  This is a multi-year process during which he commissioned opera is developed through a progressive series of readings and workshops to eventually receive the World Premiere performance on the {NOW} Festival Main Stage or in collaboration with the main stage of producing partners.

Collaborative Development

New operas presented in readings or developmental workshops.  This may be a one-off for a composer / librettist team seeking developmental support or in collaboration with other opera companies, opera incubators and freelance composers offering single or multi-year project development and workshopping support.

Premiere Performances

Exciting new operas selected by our artistic team to present as Cleveland, Regional, or World premiere performances on the {NOW} Festival Main stage or as a co-production that is presented in collaboration with the {NOW} Festival.  These may be operas that we've workshopped on previous festivals, or operas that we are presenting for the first time.

Talkback Sessions

Talkback sessions follow each {NOW} Festival performance.  Members of the audience engage in dialogue with the creative teams and performing artists in lively post-performance discussions that provide insight and generate constructive feedback to help shape the development of the new works.

New Opera Forum

An inspiring and informative interactive panel discussion held annually featuring composers, librettists, conductors, directors, performers, musicologists and producers featured on the {NOW} Festival.   The audience participates in Q&A with our distinguished panel.

Performance Venue

Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music

{NOW} Fest '19 will be in residence at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory - Minutes from Cleveland Hopkins Airport


 Performances in two venues in The Kulas Musical Arts Building:

Gamble Auditorium

Fynes Hall

There is ample on street parking and also additional parking in a lot at the corner of Seminary and Church Street


Kulas Musical Arts Building

96 Front St, Berea, OH 44017

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