The NEA grant will support The Music City Opera Project (MCOP), a series of public opera programs performed in non-traditional settings throughout Nashville. The project will engage, via an open competition, both amateur and professional songwriters, composers, arrangers, and lyricists/librettists to create new opera works. Finalists will be commissioned to produce or perform their work in venues such as The Woods Amphitheatre at Fontanel and well-known honky-tonk and country music destinations in downtown Nashville and throughout the city.
In addition to free public programs, events will be filmed and shared through social media to broaden community exposure to opera. Led by Nashville Opera Association in collaboration with the City of Nashville, Metro Arts, Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Nashville Songwriter's Association International, the project builds upon the City of Nashville's campaign to diversify its artistic identity as "Music City" and is designed to break perception boundaries, educate, provoke debate, and shatter myths about opera.