Brooklyn’s The American Opera Project (AOP) has been at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for over thirty years through its commissioning, developing and producing of opera and lyric theater projects; its training programs for students, emerging composers and librettists; and the organization’s community engagement. In 2019, General Director Matt Gray and Artistic Director Mila Henry assumed leadership, changing the organization’s name from American Opera Projects to The American Opera Project, signifying a shift from being a collection of works towards fostering a new vision for American Opera as a forward-thinking and unending artistic experiment that melds artistic genres and recognizes the operatic story in every life. Listen to their episode on Indie Opera Podcast here.
The Opera Cowgirls are an all-girl band comprised of professional musicians Caitlin McKechney (founder), Sarah Beckham-Turner, Mila Henry, Maria Lindsey and Jessica Sandidge. Known for their ability to sing Puccini to Parton, the Cowgirls have performed in dive bars, jazz clubs and community events spanning the Texas Panhandle to the Sunshine State, the Big Apple to New England. With a combination of upscale voices and down-home instruments, this is truly where Grand Opera meets the Grand Ole Opry.
Voices of Women: From Unknown to Renowned began in a workshop that soprano Heather Fetrow attended called The Twenty-First Century Singer, grew further to encompass the goal of honoring female composers, and now stands on its own both as an album and recital series. Its conception coincided with the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January 2017, which lent a sense of timeliness to the project. With its unique focus of songs composed by women as well as songs about women, the project brings to the fore the vast social change the world is undergoing in respect to women in society. We dedicate Voices of Women to the many women who have overcome prejudice and bias to sing their songs.