May 8, 2024

Recipient of the OPERA America Awards 2024 Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors

OPERA America has announced the recipients of the 2024 Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors

Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors open doors for women artists by incentivizing professional opera companies of all sizes to engage women in key artistic roles. These hires enrich the production and performance of new operas and works from the inherited repertoire and inspire future generations of creative artists who identify as women. The initiative is generously supported by the Marineau Family Foundation as part of OPERA America’s commitment to improve gender parity in the field.

Grants were awarded to 10 opera companies that are advancing the careers of the following stage directors and conductors:

Beth Morrison Projects (Brooklyn, NY):

Elizabeth Askren will conduct Sensorium Ex (Paola Prestini, composer; Brenda Shaughnessy, librettist)

Detroit Opera (Detroit, MI):

Nataki Garrett will direct The Central Park Five (Anthony Davis, composer; Richard Wesley, librettist)

IN Series (Washington, DC):

Shanara Gabrielle will direct Cradle Will Rock (Marc Blitzstein, composer and librettist)

Kentucky Opera (Louisville, KY):

Kimille Howard will direct This Little Light of Mine (Chandler Carter, composer; Diana Solomon Glover, librettist)

LA Opera (Los Angeles, CA):

Lina González-Granados will conduct Ainadamar (Osvaldo Golijov, composer; David Henry Hwang, librettist)

National Sawdust (Brooklyn, NY):

Kaneza Schaal will direct Unto Us (Helga Davis and Ted Cruz, composers; Helga Davis and Langston Hughes, librettists)

Opera Colorado (Denver, CO):

Chía Patiño will direct The Daughter of the Regiment (Gaetano Donizetti, composer; Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard, librettists)

Opera Orlando (Orlando, FL):

Roberta Emerson will direct Treemonisha (Scott Joplin, composer and librettist)

Opera Steamboat (Steamboat Springs, CO):

Amanda Berg Wilson will direct Welcome to the Madness (Leanna Kirchoff, composer; Rachel J. Peters, librettist)

Resonance Works (Pittsburgh, PA):

Keturah Stickann will direct The Little Prince (Rachel Portman, composer; Nicholas Wright, librettist)

Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors is one of OPERA America’s programs aimed at increasing gender parity across the field.


Sensorium Ex - an opera production which is part of a multi-modal arts project exploring fundamental questions of what it means to have voice, and the nature of voice beyond language.

"What does it mean to have a voice? How are our voices expressed and understood – physically, socially, culturally, and democratically? Who truly has a voice in society and how can different voices all be part of societal narratives and stories? These are the questions that form the core of Sensorium Ex, an opera composed by Paola Prestini and written by Brenda Shaughnessy" - @viapresents