american opera projects



AOP’s mission is to identify, develop and present innovative works of opera and music theater by established and emerging American artists, and to engage our audiences in unique and transformative theatrical experiences.



AOP is a member of OPERA America, Fort Greene Association, the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance, the New York Opera Alliance, and Alliance of Resident Theatres/ New York (A.R.T./NY). American Opera Projects is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.



Founded in 1988, AOP (American Opera Projects, Inc.) is at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement through its commissioning, developing, and producing of opera and music theatre projects, training programs for student and emerging composers and librettists, and community engagement.

Recent AOP world premieres include Savage Winter (Pittsburgh Opera, 2018), The Echo Drift (PROTOTYPE Festival 2018), Three Way (Nashville Opera & BAM 2017), Hagoromo starring Wendy Whelan (BAM, 2015), Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom (Irondale Center, 2014), and The Blind (co-production with Lincoln Center Festival, 2013). As One, a chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed that follows a transgender person’s acceptance of identity, was developed and premiered by AOP in 2014 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and has since become the most produced opera written in the 21st Century with over two dozen separate productions.

Operas that were created in AOP’s development program First Chance and premiered with co-producers include The Summer King at Pittsburgh Opera (2017) and Michigan Opera Theatre (2018), Lucy and Independence Eve at Urban Arias (2017),  The Scarlet Ibis at PROTOTYPE Festival (2015), Paul's Case at Urban Arias (2013) and PROTOTYPE Festival and Pittsburgh Opera (2014), Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011), Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera (2010) and Heart of Darkness at London's Royal Opera House (2011) and Opera Parallèle (2015).  

AOP further expands the operatic field through its opera writing training programs in partnership with NYU and Hunter College and its in-house, two-year fellowship program for emerging artists, Composers & the Voice.


Staff and board


Matt Gray General Director
Mila Henry Artistic Director
Charles Jarden Director of Strategic Planning
Joel Kalow Administrative Assistant

Greg Trupiano Brooklyn Outreach Coordinator
W. Wilson Jones Resident Production Stage Manager
Certus LLP Accountants
Naomi Ramirez Bookkeeping
Arnold & Porter Legal Counsel


Marshall Cohen
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Sarah Moulton Faux
J. David Jackson
Charles Jarden
W. Wilson Jones
Mark Kalow
Kevin R. Myers
Anna Rabinowitz
Norman Ryan

In Memoriam:

Dr. Coco Lazaroff (Board Chairperson: 2015-18)


“a valuable company [that] offers a chance to look in on operas in progress by talented composers” — The New Yorker

"known for bringing cutting-edge vocal productions to the masses" — New York

"a perfect first exposure to opera." — Time Out NY

"Bravo to AOP for supporting such controversial and ultimately important work." — Opera Today

"The future of American opera is in good hands." — Opera News