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Seattle Opera.

Jane Lang
Davis
Creation Lab

Jane Lang Davis Creation Lab

EXPERIMENT. COLLABORATE. CREATE.

Seattle Opera seeks to cultivate the next generation of opera composers and librettists in Washington State through our Creation Lab. Launched in 2020, the Jane Lang Davis Creation Lab presents new operas by Washington State composers and librettists that tell the diverse stories of our region.

Composers, songwriters, librettists, and lyricists of all genres are encouraged to apply to create new operas that tell compelling, resonant stories through vocal music. Selected participants develop 20-minute operas throughout the season that are presented in a concert format for a public audience in Tagney Jones Hall at the Opera Center. Each opera undergoes a development process that includes a table reading, music workshop, and rehearsal prior to the public performance. The participants receive support from professional composers and librettists as they develop their work.

2020/21 Participant performances

The inaugural cohort of composer and librettist teams will have their works streamed on YouTube and here on our website on September 9 and September 10, 2021.

Watch Part 1

Watch Part 2

2021/22 Participants

Daniel Jacob Flores Wolfert (composer)

Daniel J. F. Wolfert

Daniel J. F. Wolfert is a musical theater songwriter, performer and educator based in Tacoma, WA. Drawing from an education in classical music, a lifelong love of pop, and a hefty appetite for literature, his songs live at the musical and lyrical intersection of Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, and Sara Bareilles. Current projects include the horror mini-musical What We Heard from the City of Asylum and sci fi comedy mini-musical Hijinx & Sue. When not writing musical theater, he can be found teaching voice and piano at Horizon Musical Studio, listening to audiobooks while on a walk, or whipping up something highly improvisatory (and, occasionally, delicious) in the kitchen. He can be found online at danielwolfert.com and on Instagram as @danielmakesmusic.

Daniel Whitworth (composer)

Daniel Whitworth

Daniel Whitworth (b. 1996) is a Seattle-based composer and saxophonist dedicated to expanding the relevancy and accessibility of contemporary music. Frequently collaborating with dancers, visual artists, and actors, he aims to connect and engage with audiences in unique ways. One of his most recent projects, a concert entitled “Snapshots of America,” explored themes of politics and social justice in contemporary music and reflected Daniel’s passion for music with sociopolitical relevance.

In the summer of 2019, Daniel served as the composer-in-residence at the Lake George Music Festival after his piece Ripples in Infinity won the Lake George Composition Competition. Other recent awards include winning second place in the 2020 American Prize for Instrumental Chamber Music and first prize in the 2018 Frost International Composition Competition. In addition to recently collaborating with groups such as NOW Ensemble, Verdant Vibes, and What Is Noise, Daniel was commissioned by violinist Barbora Kolářová to compose Alma, a piece that explores the haunting story of violinist Alma Rosé through the intersection of solo violin and electronics.

An avid scorer for film and multimedia, Daniel recently won the 2020/2022 Jon Vickers Film Scoring Award and is composing a score for the Library of Congress’s restoration of the silent feature film Phil for Short, which will be distributed by Kino Lorber in 2022. Among other scoring projects, he is also currently collaborating as a composer for Film Independent’s LA-based program Project Involve.

Daniel earned his master’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a major in both Composition and Scoring for Film and Multimedia.

Darby Sherwood (librettist)

Darby Sherwood

Darby Sherwood (she/her) is a Seattle-based playwright, dramaturg, director, and teaching artist. Over a dozen of her plays have been performed in the past four years and four of her pieces have been published. She is currently working at Seattle Children’s Theatre as a Teaching Artist and is in her senior year at the University of Washington. Darby started singing in second grade and has been in choirs ever since. She found a love for opera in high school and is so thrilled to be combining that passion with her passion for writing. Visit www.darbysherwood.com for more information.

Hannah Nikka Odsinada (librettist)

Hannah Nikka Odsinada

Hannah Nikka Odsinada is a third-generation Filipino-American soprano and writer. Her stories – acts of catharsis meant to make way for healing – revel in the fantastical and the absurd. Hannah is a recent alum of Guerilla Opera's Libretto Writing Lab, where she conceived Bishop is Burning, a libretto rooted in childhood trauma and environmental anxiety. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Central Washington University, where she performed featured and leading roles with CWU Opera (The Magic Flute, El Gato con Botas, The Gondoliers) and studied voice under Dr. Gayla Blaisdell and Tor Blaisdell. Previously, Hannah performed at Portland's Northwest Children's Theatre (Seussical: the Musical) and Vancouver's Metropolitan Performing Arts (Les Miserables). For the time being, she resides in a cocoon in Ellensburg, WA. Learn more about her work at msha.ke/hno.

Rheanna Atendido (composer and librettist)

Rheanna Atendido

Rheanna Atendido is a second-generation Filipino-American playwright, born and raised in the greater Seattle area. She is a multifaceted singer-songwriter, playwright-composer, and waffle enthusiast. Both her personality and her music have been described as wordy, quirky, and complicated. As a self-taught musician, Atendido has spent the past couple decades writing songs and developing her signature acoustic-pop vibes. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater, Psychology, and a minor in music from the University of Washington. There, she received the Mary Gates Scholarship for the development of her debut pop-operetta Breakup Bench. Since then, she has composed for companies such as Book-It Repertory, ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery, and The Horse in Motion. Other works include Cultural Essay and Tides of Fortune with Mara Palma in residency with The 5th Avenue Theatre. As a performer, she has been seen on stage at The 5th Avenue Theatre (Mamma Mia!, AMT Northwest Bookshelf), Seattle Repertory (The Odyssey), Village Theatre (ZM), and Taproot (Bright Star). Atendido is currently self producing another pop album of original songs, set to release early next year.

Sheila Houlahan (librettist)

Sheila Houlahan

Sheila Houlahan is an actor, producer and writer with an extensive background in film/tv. Most recently, Sheila spearheaded a new, “hybrid” adaptation of Marsha Norman’s ‘Night, Mother as Executive Producer; the show features pre-recorded, standard cinematic segments interspersed with live performance, and is set to air on Twitch September 2021. Houlahan has pioneered this type of production, citing it as a new, effective way to bring the magic of live performance straight into the homes of audience members. Houlahan also recently played a supporting role opposite Denzel Washington in Warner Bros.’ hit feature film The Little Things, and has a prominent role in Michael Bay’s new film Ambulance, set to air in the summer of 2022. As a writer, Houlahan is currently developing a “biopic” feature film of the life of legendary photojournalist Eli Reed in partnership with Reed. Houlahan hopes to use her work as a writer and producer to highlight underrepresented voices in media, such as BIPOC and differently-abled folks; as such, Houlahan has taken on an ambassadorship role with Ability Magazine’s new platform “Ability E”, a database that catalogues all folks who identify as differently-abled to ensure fair representation exists at all levels of production.

Spencer Edgers (composer)

Spencer Edgers

Spencer Edgers is a composer, audio engineer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Seattle, WA. In 2017 he graduated from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (Saxophone Performance). In 2020 he continued his education at the Seattle Film Institute’s Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program, earning a Master of Music in Film Composition. Spencer draws influence and inspiration from across genre boundaries, embracing minimalism, avant-garde, and experimental sty