Called, “One of the most significant music events of the year.” (DMagazine – 2013), Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers showcase is breaking the mold of the traditional operatic experience by inviting patrons to experience new and innovative work at the beginning stages of an opera’s creation.

Eight selected works will be presented at Bass Performance Hall. The 20-minute excerpts, sung by artists from the 2018 Fort Worth Opera Festival with piano accompaniment, will be offered in two separate showcases of four works each on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 7:30pm – 10:00pm and Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:30pm – 10:00pm.  Tickets for the showcases are $10, and will go on sale next spring.

2017 Frontiers Selections

Griffin Candey

Thom Miller

sweets by kate

Composed by Griffin Candey on an original story and libretto by Thom Miller, the delectable dark comedy Sweets by Kate follows Elizabeth Brigmann as she returns to her hometown with her partner, Kate, to run the family business after the untimely death of her father. Once there, she faces down both the buried remnants of the prejudice that she faced in her youth and her parents’ (quite literal) deals with the Devil.

Avner Finberg

Edward Einhorn

A Taste of Damnation

Based on the short story “A Souvenir of Hell” by Etgar Keret, A Taste of Damnation, by composer Avner Finberg and librettist Edward Einhorn, follows a woman who works in a convenience store at damnation’s doorstep, who falls in love with a man on a one-day furlough from Hell. He leaves, but her obsession for him remains. Her father, also condemned, sacrifices himself to reunite them, but when she sees her lover again, she faces a terrible choice.

Norman Mathews

La Lupa

Adapted from the Giovanni Verga novella and originally to have been composed by Puccini, La Lupa, by composer and librettist Norman Mathews, follows a sensual and beautiful 35-year old Sicilian widow who loves and seduces a handsome young wheat-harvester near Mt. Etna. Much to her horror, he wishes to marry her young daughter. Their affair recklessly continues even after he marries her daughter, leading to tragedy.

Matteo Neri


Escobar, by composer/librettist Matteo Neri, chronicles the search for Colombia’s most notorious cocaine trafficker, Pablo Escobar. When hitmen in his empire assassinate a popular presidential candidate, the Colombian government goes after the drug cartels with full force, but due to Pablo’s wit and his ability to garner protection from the people of his hometown, the government’s task of tracking him down would become far more dramatic and violent than anticipated.

Frank Pesci

The System of Soothing

A young doctor’s investigation into a new method of treating the mentally insane reveals a thin line between reality and a terrifying masquerade. Based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, The System of Soothing, by composer and librettist Frank Pesci, balances precariously on the observation that one person’s madness is another’s normalcy. A devastating conclusion drives home the warning echoed throughout the opera: “believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see!”

Evan Snyder

A Capacity for Evil

Inspired by the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, the detective tale A Capacity for Evil is based on an original story conceived by composer Evan Snyder, and by tenor John Riesen. The story follows Daniel, a famed 1930s private eye, who, with help from his partner Doyle and his fiancée Angelica, works to unravel a series of grisly religious murders occurring on New Year’s Eve before the unknown murderer is able to realize the full scope of his perverse aims. As tensions rise and time runs short, the bonds between the three friends are tested – the limits of human compassion and trust tried against the dark ordeals of this imperceptible murderer.

Christopher Weiss

John De Los Santos

Service Provider

Service Provider, the hilarious snapshot opera by composer Christopher Weiss and librettist John de los Santos, details the erosion of modern romance by our obsession with mobile technology. When a loving young couple goes out for their anniversary dinner at an elegant restaurant, the evening descends into farcical disaster as the pair’s phone calls and texting unmask the facade of their fragile marriage.

Daniel Zajicek

John Grimmett

Nothing in the Nothingness

In Nothing in the Nothingness, by Daniel Zajicek and John Grimmett, a man is pulled underwater in a strong undertow during his visit to the beach. After twelve minutes without oxygen, he never regains consciousness. This operatic monologue for bass-baritone and electronics explores what it means to be alive and functioning in a vegetative state when consciousness is not possible.


  • Ned Canty

  • Paul Cremo

  • Cori Ellison

  • William Florescu

  • John Hoomes

  • Ben Krywosz

  • Peggy Monastra

  • Michael Mori

  • Nicole Paiement

  • Sarah Williams

  • Keith Wolfe


Interested and qualified candidates can obtain the submission information and address by contacting FWOpera at Only 15-25 minutes of a composition will be considered and all works must be submitted by 11:59 pm July 31, 2017.

Between six and eight compositions will be selected for participation in the 2018 Frontiers showcase. There is a $25 US application fee.

Applications must consist of:

  • Piano/Vocal score for the selection ONLY (15-25 minutes of music)
  • Libretto for the selection ONLY (additional English translation if the work is in another language)
  • Synopsis of the entire work
  • Recorded sample of the selection ONLY. These can be piano/vocal recordings (preferred), midi recordings, orchestral recordings, but must be converted into an mp3 or similar format before uploading.
  • Note: All composer/librettist names must be removed from the submission materials for blind evaluation by the panel
  • Submission PDF