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Call for

Lunar New Year Chamber Opera Proposals


Community & Learning, Houston Grand Opera’s community and learning initiative, and Asia Society Texas Center (ASTC) invite submissions from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) composers or AAPI-centered composer/librettist teams for a new chamber opera that celebrates Lunar New Year centered on the story of the Jade Emperor and the Great Race. As part of Community & Learning's Song of Houston, the work will be suitable for children, families, and adults and would provide a creative way for all to learn more about Lunar New Year traditions. The work will allow for flexibility of each changing New Year, for example, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and 2025, the year of the Snake, etc. More importantly, as Lunar New Year is celebrated in many different Asian countries, the work will be inclusive of many Lunar New Year cultural traditions.

The chamber opera parameters include:

        • 45 - 60 minutes in length
        • Maximum of 6 stage performers (singers, actors, dancers) with additional supers if needed
        • 4 – 6 instrumentalists
        • Small-medium venue: Ideally this work will be performed in small-medium sized venues including theatres with less than 300 seats, community venues with minimal technical infrastructure, or outdoor venues.

Submissions are invited from AAPI composers or AAPI-centered composer/librettist teams who reside in North America. The selected in collaboration with Community & Learning and ASTC, will choose the creative teams and develop the operas through a series of workshops leading up to the premiere in early February of 2024.

The selection committee will be comprised of representatives from Asia Society Texas Center, Houston Grand Opera, and representatives of the Asian American and Pacific Islander creative and performing arts community in Houston, Texas


The deadline to submit materials is August 2, 2021 (11:59 p.m. CST). Online submissions only.

Submit your application all in one email to 

Applications must include:

A. A description of broad ideas you might be interested in exploring for the work (250 words max each).

B. Include digital links only (private or public) of three (3) contrasting works, 5-7 minutes maximum each:

        • Composers – digital manuscripts, at least one of which must include solo voice. Submit links to recordings (audio or video) of each work. 
        • Librettists/Writers – digital manuscripts of representative works that demonstrate an ability to work within a framework of a musical setting. Though not required, you are invited to submit video samples of performances of submitted work.
        • Do not send files or passwords to access the links.

C. Résumé(s) (PDF). 

D. Brief biography(ies) (300 words max) (PDF).

E. Headshot(s) (JPG). 

Project Timeline: 

August 2, 2021 Deadline to submit proposals 
August 23, 2021 Finalists are contacted to submit specific treatment of work
September 30, 2021 Commission is offered to the selected composer or composer/librettist team
October or November 2021 Commissioned team visits Houston (if safe to do so) for a research trip
March 1, 2022 Deadline for submission of libretto draft 
Late April or 
Early May 2022

Libretto workshop hosted by Asia Society Texas Center

February 2023 Piano/vocal workshop 
September 2023 Full music workshop 
February 2024 Premier at Asia Society Texas Center, Houston


If you have questions, contact Emily Wells, HGOco Senior Producing Manager, at 


With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is an educational institution advancing cultural exchange — building bridges over oceans and between neighborhoods — to celebrate diversity, inspire empathy, and foster a better understanding of our interconnected world. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society Texas Center’s(ASTC) programming provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to advance a more inclusive society. 

ABOUT Community & Learning

Community & Learning is Houston Grand Opera’s community and learning initiative that connects the company to our community through a variety of collaborations and programs. Our nationally recognized community programs include the Song of Houston initiative which commissions new chamber operas and song projects that resonate with contemporary life in Houston. Our multi-disciplinary Seeking the Human Spirit initiative highlights universal spiritual themes raised in opera while expanding and deepening connections to opera and art. We offer a rich variety of education programs including touring programs, student performances main-stage productions, the Bauer Family High School Voice Studio, professional development workshops for teachers and life-long learnerssummer camp, and residency programs in community centers, rehabilitation programs, and schools.  

few examples of Community & Learning commissions include:  

          • A Space of Sky*, Jeremy Howard Beck/Stephanie Fleischmann, to premiere in 2023 
          • Turn and Burn, Nell Shaw Cohen/Megan Cohen, to premiere in 2022
          • Katie: The Strongest of the Strong, Faye Chiao/Anton Dudley, 2021
          • Marian’s Song, Damien Sneed/Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, 2020
          • NOW, Avner Dorman/John Grimmett, 2019
          • Monkey & Francine in the City of Tigers, Kamala Sankaram/David Johnston, developed in partnership with American Lyric Theatre, 2018
          • Some Light Emerges, Laura Kaminsky/Mark Campbell/Kimberly Reed, 2017  
          • After the Storm, David Hanlon/Stephanie Fleischmann, 2016
          • O Columbia, Gregory Spears/Royce Vavrek, 2015
          • Bound, Huang Ruo/Bao-Long Chu, 2014
          • Cruzar la Cara del la Luna, Jose Martinez/Leonard Foglia, 2010 
          • The Refuge, Christopher Theofanidis/Leah Lax, 2008 

*working title


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