THE SCOOP | Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes Prize Winners To Create New Operas To Premiere In 2024

Musique 3 Femmes (M3F): Kristin Hoff, Jennifer Szeto, and Rachel Krehm (Photo courtesy of M3F)

The third edition of the $50,000 Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes recently came to a close, with the winners for 2022-23 announced in Montréal. Composers Analia Llugdar, Alejandra Odgers, and Rebecca Gray, and librettists Nicole O’Bomsawin and Rachel Gray, will create four new Canadian operas which will premiere in 2024.

About the contest

The prize was created by a collaboration between Montréal’s Musique 3 Femmes (M3F), Ensemble Vocal Arts-Québec and Mécénat Musica. It’s dedicated to developing the work of emerging female and non-binary Canadian artists who have a track record and potential when it comes to creating new operas.

  • The 2022-23 jury: M3F’s Kristin Hoff and Jennifer Szeto, and guest jurors Luna Pearl Woolf, composer, dramaturg, CEO of Oxingale Music, and Jaap Nico Hamburger, Mécénat Musica Composer-In-Residence.
  • The prize includes: commission funding for new works, mentorship and dramaturgy by opera composer & dramaturg Luna Pearl Woolf, and funding support for a musical workshop.
  • The prize is awarded to teams of composers and librettists in three categories: French Language work, work by BIPOC creators (Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour), and English Language work.
Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes Prize Winners 2022-23: Analía Lugdar, Montréal/Argentine; Alejandra Odgers, Montréal/Méxique & Nicole O’Bomsawin, Odanak, Québec; Rebecca Gray & Rachel Gray, Ottawa; Danaë Ménard-Bélanger & Maïa Ménard-Bélanger, Montréal (Photos courtesy of the competition)
Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes Prize Winners 2022-23: Analía Lugdar, Montréal/Argentine; Alejandra Odgers, Montréal/Méxique & Nicole O’Bomsawin, Odanak, Québec; Rebecca Gray & Rachel Gray, Ottawa; Danaë Ménard-Bélanger & Maïa Ménard-Bélanger, Montréal (Photos courtesy of the competition)

About the winners

French Language work

  • Analia Llugdar, composer (Montréal/Argentina) Currently based in France, she has composed about 60 pieces for voice, orchestra, chamber music, solo instrument, ballet, opera and mixed music.

Indigenous (BIPOC) work

  • Alejandra Odgers, composer (Montréal/Mexico) She has composed over 50 works, including two commisisons for the Orchèstre Métropolitan, one conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
  • Nicole O’Bomsawin, librettist (Odanak, Québec) The Abenaki anthropologist and author is also a dancer who has toured North America.

English Language work

  • Rebecca Gray, composer (Ottawa) Soprano, composer, and improviser, she has performed with Pacific Opera Victoria, Esprit Orchestra, Tapestry Opera, Opera Q, and is a member of FAWN chamber creative.
  • Rachel Gray, librettist (Ottawa) An interdisciplinary artist navigating the world with Dyslexia working in drawing, animation, painting, puppetry, podcasting, printmaking, and comics.

French Language work — Encouragement Prize

  • Danaë Ménard-Bélanger, composer (Montréal) A composer, and assistant director of the vocal ensemble Kô, she recently embarked on a PhD on lullabies at the University of Montreal.
  • Maïa Ménard-Bélanger, librettist (Montréal) A scenographer and scriptwriter, she explores puppetry, illustration, and screenwriting, as well as craft costumes for both stage and television.

The organizations

Musique 3 Femmes (M3F), founded in 2018, is a non-profit dedicated to nurturing emerging Canadian female and nonbinary opera creators, led by artists Kristin Hoff and Jennifer Szeto. They are presenting Canadian world premieres in September 2022 in Berlin of operas by Anna Pidgorna and Laurence Jobidon, and in February 2023, a co-production of Keiko Devaux’s first full-length opera, with Ensemble Paramirabo.

Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec is a professional choir with roots in the traditions of Québec, recipient of PRIX OPUS Musical Event of the Year 2020.

Mécénat Musica is a cultural program by donors for donors, with $81,000,000 of in perpetuity capital destined for Québec cultural organizations, and garnered from donations from more than 500 Mécénat Musica individuals and families.

Bravi tutti to the winners, and we’ll look forward to hearing the results.

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