Call for Scores: Opera Bites

Opera Bites Performance
Deadline: 15 January 2017

The Boston New Music Initiative and Boston Opera Collaborative, in collaboration with the Longy School of Music of Bard College, are excited to announce a joint call for works to be programmed as part of BNMI’s ninth season and BOC’s thirteenth season. Incorporated in 2010, BNMI aims to advance the careers of its members in the field of new music by serving as a resource for networking, professional development, commissioning, collaboration, and programming. BOC began in 2005 and strives to tell stories through compelling music-theater experiences that raise questions, create joy, promote dialogue, build community, and encourage audiences to think about what it means to be human. This call aims to find works that tell great stories, with texts that are smart, fresh, surprising, and entertaining. Any composer is eligible to submit regardless of age, nationality, sex, color, creed, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or veteran status. Works will be judged for both musical and dramatic quality. Works that are not chosen by BOC for performance may be considered for a later non-staged performance by BNMI.


Category 1: 10 Minute Opera
Work that tells a complete story in approximately 10 minutes. Scenes from a larger work are acceptable as long as the excerpt tells a complete story.

Category 2: Dramatic Song Cycle
A work that was conceived as a song cycle but could be staged.

To apply, please click below.

1. One (1) anonymous score, in PDF format only. Works must be approximately 10 minutes in length. Works that are significantly longer or shorter may not be considered.
2. An anonymous libretto (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, or .txt documents only).
3. An anonymous recording of the work may be included in .mp3 or .m4a format. A recording of the work with piano reduction in place of an instrumental ensemble is acceptable. Recordings are encouraged but not required.
4. An info sheet (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, or .txt documents only) consisting of: composer’s and librettist’s names, title of the submission, 250 word composer bio, and the composer’s current mailing address, phone number, e-mail, and website (if applicable).
5. Each entry should be accompanied by an entry fee. The fee for this competition is $10 for current full members and $20 for associate members. Composers wishing to enter who are not members of the organization may join as either associate or full members prior to submitting. Please visit to learn more about membership levels with BNMI.
6. Composers are encouraged to submit works for BNMI’s core ensemble of flute (doubling piccolo, alto flute, bass flute), clarinet (doubling bass), violin, violoncello, piano and percussion (one player). A second violin, viola and/or saxophone may be added to the ensemble. A subset of the available instruments is also allowed.
7. Composers and/or librettists must include evidence of permission for use of copyrighted or otherwise protected text or scenarios.
8. Works should be for a maximum of 4 vocalists. Preference will be given to works with one or more female singers.
9. Composers may submit as many scores as they wish; however, each submitted work must be submitted as a separate entry and accompanied by a separate entry fee.
10. No name or identifying mark should appear anywhere on the submitted scores or recordings. Any submission that does not meet this requirement will be disqualified and the accompanying application fee will not be returned.
11. All submissions must be completed online and accompanying fees paid by 11:59 pm on January 15, 2017. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
12. The winning composer(s) will be notified no later than May 30, 2017. The score, parts and a piano reduction for rehearsals will be due by August 1, 2017.
13. Please see the FAQ below for the most commonly asked questions. Any additional questions may be sent to Note: Do NOT send submission materials to this email address, as the materials cannot be received by the judges using this method, and submission materials sent via email violate this competition’s strict anonymity requirements.

FAQs and Helpful Hints:

1. Please note that new memberships may take up to 24 hours to be approved (although usually much less). Composers signing up as new members who wish to submit to this competition should be sure to allot enough time for the approval process to complete in order to meet the January 15 deadline.
2. The submission portal is not available without login credentials. Composers who are not existing BNMI members should not attempt to go to the submission portal without submitting a membership application first: in order to create login credentials.
3. Once your files have been added for each work, be sure to complete your payment in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Full members must have dues paid in full in order to receive full membership benefits, including discounts on Calls for Scores and commissioning competitions. For those composers submitting more than one entry, payment should be made only after ALL entries have been completed.
4. You may check to see if your submission is complete by logging out, and then logging back in. If you are able to view your submitted materials, then they have been received. You may have to click on the title of your submission in order to view all associated files.

15 Jan 2017
U.S. Dollar (USD)