National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors
First time in 25 years, NEA creates new lifetime achievement award -- Nation's highest honor in opera
January 9, 2008
Washington, DC -- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today did something it hasn't done in more than a quarter century: it announced new awards to honor lifetime achievement and individual excellence, this time in the field of opera.
"Opera in the United States is a vibrant, healthy art form and it's only fitting that we give it the added recognition of an honor bestowed by the United States government -- just as we do with jazz and folk and traditional arts. This is a way to honor our great opera artists and their work," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.
The National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors will celebrate visionaries and luminaries who, by making extraordinary contributions to opera in the United States, have become cultural treasures. This honor represents the highest award that our nation bestows in opera -- and as with the NEA's other lifetime achievement awards, honorees will be nominated by the American public. Since 1982, the NEA has given lifetime achievement awards to jazz artists (NEA Jazz Masters) and folk and traditional artists (NEA National Heritage Fellows).
Nominees for the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors may include composers, librettists, singers, conductors, designers, directors, or collaborative artistic teams. In addition, nominations are sought for an award to a composer, librettist, or artistic team to celebrate an exemplary American opera that has generated excitement, attracted audiences, and demonstrated potential for expanding the canon of American opera repertoire. The award also will honor individuals whose mastery has advanced the knowledge and/or appreciation of opera for the general public. The award includes a one-time fellowship of $25,000.
Guidelines that include full details for the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors are available on the NEA website www.arts.gov/honors/opera/. The deadline for nominations is February 11, 2008. The awards will be announced and awarded in the fall of 2008. Said Chairman Gioia, "I encourage people to be a part of this exciting new award by making a nomination. You could be helping to make history."
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency