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Opera Committee: Librettists Initiative

Opera Committee: Librettists Initiative

The Opera Committee of the Dramatists Guild Council needs your assistance in launching an important new initiative.

In recent years, the production of new operas has dramatically increased around the country, making the role of the librettist more important than ever. However, our members have reported to us that, despite the growing importance of the librettist, the business practices that have plagued opera writers for generations are acting as an obstacle to attracting and retaining the best librettists working in the field today.

So the Guild’s Opera Committee has launched a “Librettists Initiative,” to better understand the standards that have evolved for opera librettists and to help establish terms for best practices in the industry, in order to promote a respectful work environment, strong collaborations, and, therefore, the development of quality new work.

The Librettists Initiative will involve all stakeholders in the industry—composers, producers, commissioners, music publishers, funders, investors, agents, attorneys, company boards and ultimately the arts-going public—in order to gather vital information about such issues as ownership, control, collaboration, approvals, compensation and billing.

Then, after a thorough information-gathering process, and having taken all views into consideration, the Opera Committee will be able to present its findings and make recommendations that will reflect a fair and balanced approach to improving the working conditions of opera writers everywhere. By so doing, the Committee hopes to assist a venerated style of musical theater to survive its own antiquated practices and transition into an art form that attracts and keeps its very best practitioners.

The first step of the Librettists Initiative is the Opera Survey. Information about the survey will be announced soon. Please take a few minutes to respond to the questions and, if you have contracts with librettists, composers, producers or publishers of operas, we ask that you provide us with copies of them. Be assured that we will keep your private information entirely confidential.

So please help us. And if you’d like to join the committee or keep apprised of our activities, Contact Us.