Rachel J. Peters

Composer Lyricist Librettist

Composer/librettist Rachel J. Peters (b. 1977) writes all manner of works for the stage.


Her operas include Rootabaga Country (Sarasota Opera), Companionship (Fort Worth Opera), Steve (Boston Opera Collaborative), No Ladies in the Lady’s Book with Lisa DeSpain (Utah Opera) The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Royce Vavrek (Center for Contemporary Opera, Hartford Opera Theater), Pie, Pith, and Palette with Marvin J. Carlton (The Atlanta Opera), and Monkey Do (Rhymes With Opera).


Musicals include Only Children with Michael R. Jackson (NYU Tisch, Lincoln Center Directors Lab), Tiny Feats of Cowardice with Susan Bernfield (NYC Fringe Festival), Write Left with John Walch (Playwrights Horizons Theatre School), Tomato Red (UC Irvine), and Octopus Heart (NYU Steinhardt).


Scores for plays include the critically acclaimed Stretch (a fantasia) (New Georges) and Tania in the Getaway Van (Flea Theater) by Susan Bernfield, Transatlantic by John Walch (Arkansas Rep), The Bacchae (Asolo Rep Conservatory), and several plays by Stan Richardson.


Concert works include Jack's Vocabulary (Hartt SPASM), I Live Here (Galapagos Art Space), Canon (Two Sides Sounding), And Then (BayPath College), Fronds: The Wisdom of Fanny Fern (Walt Whitman Project), and If You Can Prove That I Should Set You Free for Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire. Her concert mini-monodrama, Ethel Smyth Plays Golf in Limbo, written for Albatross Duo, was performed at Semperoper Dresden and continues to enjoy performances all over the US. Rachel’s extensive catalogue of art songs and cabaret songs have been performed at Lincoln Center, Second Stage, The National Opera Center, Symphony Space, NYMF, Ars Nova, Joe's Pub, and cabarets and theatres nationwide. She is a contributing composer/lyricist to the new generation of The AIDS Quilt Songbook.


Rootabaga Country received an OPERA America Female Composers Commissioning Grant, and her collaboration as librettist with composer with Leanna Kirchoff on their opera-in-progress Friday After Friday won an OPERA America Female Composers Discovery Grant. Rachel is a proud alumna of New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, American Opera Projects' Composers and the Voice, and a three-time fellow at the John Duffy Institute for New Opera. Residencies include Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Yaddo, and Brush Creek Arts. Rachel has received Anna Sosenko Assist Trust and multiple ASCAPlus awards.


Rachel holds a double B.A. summa cum laude from Brandeis University and an MFA from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. She originally hails from St. Louis and currently lives in Brooklyn.