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Pacific Opera Initiative is the home of all the West Edge Opera new works activities.

The program focuses our energies on west coast opera artists and performance, but includes the work of opera makers around the globe.

Our new works partners include: Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Southwest, The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

POI Programs:



Our on-line commissioning and development platform. In 2020 as Covid made performing impossible, we turned to the internet and advances in video collaboration technology to create an online community dedicated to creating and developing new opera. We assembled a group of diverse curators and focused on breaking down barriers for artists to apply. Part reality show, part think tank, part online artist retreat, a promise of one commission of $60,000 drew over 80 submissions half of which were by and about people of color, half were by female artists. Aperture was funded through members who, for a monthly membership fee watched videos of the artists at work crafting their projects.


Aperture’s first commission, Dolores will premiere in 2024. The program went on to also commission L’autre Moi which was the runner up. Since we now have projects that will take us to 2026 and people are once again enjoying live performance, Aperture is now dormant, ready to be revived at any time.

Click here for the Aperture site



Snapshot is our annual showcase of New Opera in process. Now in its 8th year, Snapshot has presented excerpts of new works from 37 different works from 2017-present. The works presented must not have had a premiere production and either the composer or the librettist must have lived 4 out of the last 20 years in California, Washington or Oregon.

Click here for more information



Our robust opera development program provides extensive workshopping for each commission both online and in person. Workshops happen both in the Bay Area and at other partner workshop programs around the United States.

Click here for archival videos



Bulrusher by Nathaniel Stookey and Eisa Davis will premiere at the West Edge Festival in July 2024

Dolores by Nicolas Benavides and Marella Martin
Koch will have a "rolling premiere" across 2024-25

The Silent Partner is by Matthew Recio and Stephanie Fleischmann. Premiering at the West Edge Festival in fall 2025

Click the show art for information




New/Again is our program of subsequent productions of new works. West Edge Opera has a long reputation for seeking out new operas that deserve another look and a different interpretation. We have presented New/Again operas in our main festival and main stage for well over a decade. The program is an important part of our mission.

Click here for more information


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