96-Hour Opera Festival

• World Premieres
• Competition & Showcase
• $10,000 Prize & Commission

Now in its third season, the 96-Hour Opera Festival celebrates emerging creative talents from historically under-recognized communities and offers a path into the art of opera.

After two years in development, we proudly present the first world premiere emerging from this program with Norris & Ebo’s Forsyth County is Flooding (with the Joy of Lake Lanier).

Meet our composers and librettists selected for the 2024 competition. Bringing their completed ten-minute operas to Atlanta, the creative teams rehearse their productions for 96 hours with guidance from specialists in the field.

The 96-Hour Opera Project Showcase is open to the public, and five more world-premiere mini-operas are presented to the judging panel in an exciting race for the Antinori Foundation Grand prize.

The Atlanta Opera welcomes an exceptional group of judges to review and determine the winners of a $10,000 award and an Atlanta Opera commission.


All tickets are general admission

96-Hour Opera Showcase – $10
MONDAY JUN 17, 2024 7:00PM

Forsyth County is Flooding  – $20
SATURDAY JUN 15, 2024 8:00PM

Festival Package (both above) – $25

Ray Charles Performing Arts Center

96-Hour Opera Showcase

Forsyth County is Flooding

Festival Package
Forsyth + Showcase

JUN 15, 2024
8:00 PM

JUN 17, 2024
7:00 PM


The Antinori Foundation
Grand Prize

The Rich Foundation


About the Competition

“The 96-Hour Opera Project expands the canvas on what is possible in opera. By representing voices that were traditionally unrepresented in the opera canon, we can rejoice in the power of story.”

Andrea Davis Pinkney

judge, 96-Hour Opera Project
“The opportunity to create, workshop and explore solutions right on the spot was an invaluable element of this program. That paired with all the fantastic networking made it an excellent program.”
participant, 96-Hour Opera Project
“The 96-Hour Opera Project is an ambitious, unique initiative that is striving to connect directly with the greater Atlanta community. Atlanta Opera is breaking new ground with this competition and other companies would do well to follow suit.”
participant, 96-Hour Opera Project

Artistic Advisor

Morris Robinson

Internationally renowned bass, GRAMMY Award winning vocalist and Atlanta native Morris Robinson will serve as the artistic advisor again for this year’s competition, working with creative teams throughout the competition as well as serving as one of the judges.

“The level of talent here is stunning. I cannot wait to hear and see what they prepare over the coming months.”

Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. General & Artistic Director

Tomer Zvulun

“The rich history of Atlanta rests not only in the lives of the most famous, but in the courage and strength of even the most unacclaimed people,” said Tomer Zvulun. “Our goal is to lift up the inspirational stories that reflect the multicultural history of Atlanta and to amplify the voices of a diverse group of talented emerging creators.”


Now in its third season, the event launched as the “96-Hour Opera Project” has expanded to include developmental workshops and incubator performances of works in production in addition to a composition competition.

The competition, in which teams of composers and librettists have four days to workshop and stage completely new and compelling 10-minute operas, is the heart of the festival. Each team presents its work in a showcase before an audience and a panel of judges.

Winners from the previous year’s competition will have the opportunity to present their developed works in an incubator setting and, the following year, as a more developed workshopped opera.

In 2024, the 96-Hour Opera Festival will commence on Saturday, June 15 with the world premiere of Forsyth County is Flooding (with the Joy of Lake Lanier) and conclude with the competition showcase on Monday, June 17. The world premiere and showcase are open to the public, and will be hosted in partnership with Morehouse College, School of Music at the Ray Charles Center for the Performing Arts located at 900 West End Ave, SW in Atlanta.
Designed specifically for composers and librettists who have been historically underrecognized in the opera field, the competition is open to composers and librettists who self-identify as part of a demographic underrecognized in opera composition.

There is no age range or limit for applying, but composers and librettists in the early stages of their careers are encouraged to participate. Creators may have acquired significant skills in academic or professional settings, but have not had works performed regularly.

We will provide an option to pair artists, based on their experience and interests.

All participating teams will travel to Atlanta after preparing their work in advance of the program. Travel (airfare or mileage reimbursement), housing, singers, pianists, and preparation space will be provided to each composer/librettist team in order to showcase their new mini-operas.

Submissions will be evaluated based off of artistic excellence or the potential for artistic excellence, artistic ability, knowledge of both vocal and orchestral writing (composers), and character development (librettists).

A complete list of judges with their bios are listed above.

• Day 1Fri, June 14, 2024:  Introductions and music rehearsal.
• Day 2: Sat, June 15, 2024:  Rehearsal and staging + performance of Forsyth County is Flooding (with the Joy of Lake Lanier)
• Day 3: Sun, June 16, 2024: Coaching, mentorship with judges, and final prep
• Day 4: Mon, June 17, 2024:  Dress rehearsal, Showcase performance and judging

(Travel days will occur before Day 1 and after Day 4, on 6/13 and 6/18 so composers and librettists should be available 6/13 to 6/18 to participate.)

Artists work with our Story Partner to refine and explore their story prompts during their writing process. 

We invite the community to join us for the performances. The Atlanta Opera Film Studio will capture aspects of the preparation, the world-premiere of Forsyth County is Flooding (with the Joy of Lake Lanier), and the competition showcase. Specific use of the video and audio recordings will be determined by the needs of The Atlanta Opera.  

Media Inquiries

Please contact
Michelle Winters, Director of PR and Communications