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One of the nation’s leaders in championing new and classic American opera, Encompass New Opera Theatre is dedicated to creating, developing and producing adventurous productions of contemporary opera and new music theatre.  In its mission to discover and nurture emerging composers, librettists, singers and musicians; premiere ground-breaking new productions; and revive important 20th-century works by American and international composers, Encompass has produced over 61 fully-mounted operas with orchestra and staged readings of over 160 new works.

Established in 1975 by Artistic Director Nancy Rhodes, Producer Roger Cunningham, and the renowned composer Virgil Thomson, the Encompass mission is to:

  • Provide an incubator for composers and librettists to nurture new opera;
  • Keep the repertoire of 20th and 21st century American opera vibrant with fresh, innovative productions;
  • Discover and engage the next generation of American singers from diverse backgrounds;
  • Collaborate with musicians and artists across cultures to create new works;
  • Create artistic pathways that connect science, music, art, philosophy, cosmology, and ecology.
  • Provide international exposure for contemporary American opera and artists;
  • Develop new audiences for music theatre and opera.

Encompass has performed internationally at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, and toured four cities in The Netherlands; Encompass productions have premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (Angel of the Amazon by Evan Mack, 2011), Symphony Space (Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters by Ned Rorem/G. Stein, 2012; The Theory of Everything, concert reading by John David Earnest/Nancy Rhodes, 2010), Elebash Recital Hall (Four Saints in Three Acts by Virgil Thomson/Gertrude Stein, 2009), the Gerald W. Lynch Theater (I Tre Compagni by Louis Gioia, 2009), Cleveland Opera’s Ohio Theatre (The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigori Frid, 2005), the Connelly Theatre and the 5th International Musical Theatre Workshop in Munich (Ricky Ian Gordon’s Only Heaven, based on poetry of Langston Hughes, 1995, 2001), and Alice Tully Hall (Un Racconto Fiorentino by Louis Gioia, 2000).

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