Welcome to CU NOW at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!
Conceived by Leigh Holman, director of the Eklund Opera Program, the CU New Opera Workshop (CU NOW) is the first program of its kind in a U.S. academic institution: An extended workshop period where graduate voice and composition students have direct interaction with living composers to develop and perform their music. Guest composers have included Mark Adamo, Mark Campbell, Tom Cipullo, Herschel Garfein, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Gene Scheer and Kamala Sankaram.
Nestled at the foot of the Boulder Flatirons, composers love the oasis of CU NOW where their creativity blossoms with invaluable resources at their fingertips: Skilled and eager singers as well as premium music staff, directors and production personnel. Says Jake Heggie, one of the most well-known living opera composers:
The longest workshop I’ve ever had was five or six days. So to have nearly three weeks to work on it and change it every day is extraordinary. —Jake Heggie
The student impact is even greater. Says Grammy Award-winning bass Wei Wu (MMus ’13):
I’m so grateful that CU NOW was introduced to me by the Eklund Opera Program and Leigh Holman more than a decade ago. Back then, I worked from scratch with composers and librettists—now, I sing commissioned works at major houses. CU NOW opened a new door for me. —Wei Wu
CU NOW is often a student’s first professional opportunity to implement their academically prepared skills in a familiar setting with Eklund Opera support staff. They grow new skills interfacing and developing with industry professionals, including those visiting from prominent opera companies and established artists. With every major opera house performing new opera, CU NOW offers our students an advantage in the current Golden Age of American Opera. CU NOW is funded exclusively by the generosity of donors.
Jeremy Reger, Music Director (2015-2022)
Robert Spillman, Music Director (2010-2015)
Patrick Mason, CFI Founder, Managing Director (2014-2016)
Daniel Kellogg, CFI Managing Director (2017-2019)