Virtual Opera in Conversation: Poetry & Music Project

Apr 15, 2020

Thank you for everyone who was able to join us for the livestream of our virtual Opera in Conversation about Opera Omaha’s Poetry & Music Project. We sat down with composers Matt Browne and Frances Pollock of the American Opera Project and Colleen O’Doherty and Matt Mason of Nebraska Writers Collective to discuss every aspect of the project. The full conversation can be seen in the video below!

The Poetry & Music Project, now in its third year, sees K-12 poets from across Nebraska and Iowa to submit their poems on themes of creativity, community, identity, and youth, a selection of which are chosen to be set to music. This year, 10 poems by 9 poets were chosen from 29 submissions and form the basis of new works for piano and voice composed by Browne and Pollock. These pieces will be performed by Opera Omaha’s very own Holland Community Opera Fellows.

Many students also attended poetry-writing workshops in the fall prior to the poem submission deadline. Facilitated by the Opera Omaha Holland Fellows and Nebraska Writers Collective, these workshops help students to generate ideas for poems, put their ideas down on paper, and consider the details of writing poetry for music specifically.

Poets of the selected poems also attended music workshops, in which composers, performers, and poets all worked together to bring the music to life. The result is a set of truly collaborative songs, in which the input of everyone involved can be seen.

While the Poetry & Music Concert, originally scheduled for April 26, has been postponed, keep an eye on Opera Omaha’s social media channels as we release some of the pieces in video format in the coming weeks and all the poems submitted to the project.

The Poetry & Music Project is produced in partnership with Nebraska Writers Collective and The American Opera Project and supported in part by Humanities Nebraska.

Watch the video below to see the entirety of Opera in Conversation.

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