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Applications Open for Beth Morrison Projects’ NEXT GEN Composer Competition 

Founded by Beth Morrison Projects, applications to the third edition of program will open on July 1, 2024


Created in 2017, the Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) Next Gen competition is designed for emerging artists interested in composing opera and music theater. Applicants are invited to submit vocal works up to 10 minutes in length. 

From the initial pool of applicants, 10 first-round semi-finalists will be selected to participate in a weekend of live performances at NYC’s National Sawdust on November 23 and 24, 2024 — their vocal works will also be produced by BMP.

Two finalists will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals to win commissions for 30-minute vocal-theater works for Cycle 3 of the competition, which will be held in 2025. The winner will receive a commission for an evening-length vocal-theater work, including the development and World Premiere production of their composition. 

To date, BMP has held two cycles of NEXT GEN with Emma O'Halloran and Niloufar NourBakhsh as past winners — O'Halloran debuted her commissioned double bill work TRADE | MARY MOTORHEAD at PROTOTYPE Festival 2023 to critical acclaim, and has since seen the production tour to LA Opera; NourBakhsh won the competition with her work Threshold of Brightness, and has since been commissioned for a full-length work premiering in upcoming BMP seasons. 

NEXT GEN Cycle 3 will be accepting first-round applications beginning on July 1, 2024; applications will close on September 9, 2024, at 11:59 PM EST. The application form can be found here.

Applicants must still be studying at a school (or be within four years of graduating from any degree granting program); be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or studying on a student visa; and not have been previously commissioned by a US Opera Company. 

Composers must also be available from November 15, 2024, to be in New York City for rehearsals and the two performances. BMP will provide travel and housing to those selected who live outside of the greater New York area.

“We at BMP are always in search of the newest generation of voices in composition of opera theater,” said BMP’s President and Creative Producer Beth Morrison on the call for applications, according to Broadway World. “Next Gen is our effort to connect with these most brilliant young minds. I cannot wait to review the incredible amount of creative, provocative, and genre defying works we have received in previous years. Reviewing these materials has and continues to assure me we are living in a new golden age of contemporary opera-theatre.”


Founded in 2006 to support the work of living composers and their collaborators, BMP has featured at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Disney Hall, The Barbican, Lincoln Center, The Walker Art Center, The Beijing Music Festival, The Holland Festival, and more. Current and upcoming projects include works by composers Mohammed Fairouz, Michael Gordon, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Elvis Perkins, Paola Prestini, Ellen Reid, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Jeremy Schonfeld, and more. 

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