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The Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize

The Domenic J. Pellicciotti Composition Prize was founded by Dr. Gary C. Jaquay to honor his life partner Dominic J. Pellicciotti, an ardent fan of opera. The award seeks to encourage and acknowledge the creation of new opera works that explore themes related to social justice, diversity, equity and/or inclusion. 

Domenic J. Pellicciotti Biography

Announcement: Updated March 1, 2021

The new timeline for submission, review, and selection may be found below. Applicants who began submissions under the original timeline must resubmit their proposals. The deadline for proposal submissions has been extended to April 1, 2021

 We humbly apologize for the inconvenience but under the circumstances, we found this prudent and necessary. 

2023 Opera Commissioning & Production Award

Call for Scores/Proposals

The award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble and The Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize seeks proposals from composer/librettist teams for a $25,000 Opera Commissioning Award.  The winning team will be awarded a commission to complete the proposed work for a November 2023 premiere at The Crane School of Music, State University of New York, Potsdam.

The prize was founded by Dr. Gary C. Jaquay to honor his life partner Dominic J. Pellicciotti, an ardent fan of opera. The award seeks to encourage and acknowledge the creation of new opera works that explore themes related to social justice, diversity, equity and/or inclusion. 

Deadline for Proposal Submission: April 1, 2021

Submission portal will open on December 1, 2020.

Preliminary Proposal should include:

  • Project description including its artistic impact and includes how it reflects the theme of the Pellicciotti Prize.
  • Proposed Synopsis & Scene breakdown
  • Proposed orchestration (modest forces suggested with creative instrumentation encouraged).
  • Composers: Three samples of previous work (total maximum timing of 30 minutes).  The works should demonstrate both vocal and orchestral writing appropriate to the proposed forces. MIDI files are acceptable, but it is preferable to have at least one of a live performance. Scores and audio recordings (PDF and MP3 formats only) must be included for each sample. 
  • Librettists: Three excerpts of work samples (at least one piece must be a text that has been set to music).  Submission of texts must be in PDF format.  Audio recording(s) of works set to music (MP3 format only) for at least one of the samples are requested, if available. Excerpts of texts not set to music should reflect the author’s ability to write for a dramatic setting. 
  • Bios for each Composer & Librettist (500 words max) should include a statement of relevant collaborate activity.
  • Electronic applications only via this submission portal.
  • Submissions of physical media will not be accepted. The application portal will open on December 1, 2020 at this website.

Questions should be directed to Lonel Woods or Tim Sullivan at pellicciotti@potsdam.edu.

Guidelines

  • The narrative or overall theme of the proposed opera should explore subjects related to social justice, diversity, equity and/or inclusion. 
  • Proposed operas should be appropriate for students in an undergraduate music program to perform (musically, technically and dramatically).
  • SATB or some sort of mixed-voice ensemble is desirable.
  • Total length of winning project is expected to be around 80 minutes in length.
  • Engraving and part preparation will be the responsibility of the award recipients.
  • Persons directly associated with SUNY Potsdam or The Crane School of Music, or previous winners of the Pellicciotti Prize are not eligible to participate.
  • Only proposals for new works (i.e. projects which have not yet proceeded beyond initial planning stages) will be considered.

Timeline

April 1, 2021 Commission Proposals Due
June 1, 2021 Finalists Announced
January 1, 2022 15 min Sample Due
Spring 2022 Work-shopped Readings & Winner Announced (specific date TBD for this and all later stages of the commission)
Summer 2022 Draft of Libretto Due
Fall 2022 Draft of Piano/Vocal Score Due
Spring 2023 Workshop Selected Sections with student performers
Summer 2023 Full Orchestration & Final PV Score Due
Fall 2023 Performance at The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam

2023 Selection Committee

Tim Sullivan PhotoTimothy Sullivan, Professor of Music: Theory and Composition at The Crane School of Music (Co–Facilitator of The Pellicciotti Committee)

  • PhD: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • MM: University of Northern Colorado
  • BM: University of Northern Colorado

Lonel Woods PhotoLonel Woods, Professor of Music: Voice at The Crane School of Music (Co–Facilitator of The Pellicciotti Committee)

  • AmusD: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • MM: The Catholic University of America
  • BME: DePaul University

Liesl Shoenberger Doty PhotoLiesl Schoenberger Doty, Assistant Professor: Violin at The Crane School of Music

  • Doctoral Candidate: New England Conservatory
  • MM: Indiana University
  • BM: Indiana University
     

William Lake PhotoWilliam L. Lake, Assistant Professor: Bands at The Crane School of Music

  • DMA: University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • ME: University of Maryland, College Park
  • MM: Boston University
  • BM: University of Maryland, College Park

Ivette Herryman Rodriquez PhotoIvette Herryman Rodriguez, Assistant Professor: Music Theory and Composition at The Crane School of Music

  • DMA: Michigan State University
  • MM: Michigan State University
  • MM: Baylor University
  • BM: Instituto Superior de Artes (Higher Institute of Arts), in Havana,

Darren Keith Woods PhotoDarren Keith Woods, General Director and Artistic Director of Seagle Music Colony

  • General Director of Fort Worth Opera
  • General Director of The Shreveport Opera in Louisiana
  • Vocal Competition Adjudicator
  • Professional Operatic tenor