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National Endowment for the Arts 


2008 Honorees of the Inaugural NEA Opera Honors 


Leettft/tte .Price 


Gar/is/e ffletfd 


iffyf/iard Qaddes 


c yames Levitt e 


October 31, 2008 
Sidney Harman Hall 
Harman Center for the Arts 
Washington, D.C. 

A great nation This inaugural event is made possible in part 

deserves great art. through the generosity of joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long. 





The National Endowment for the Arts 
(NEA) is dedicated to bringing the best 
of the arts and arts education to all 
Americans. Established by Congress in 
1965, it is an independent agency of the 
federal government. The NEA is the 
largest annual national funder of the arts, 
bringing great art both new and estab- 
lished to all 50 states, including rural 
areas, inner cities and military bases. 
Since its inception, it has awarded more 
than 128,000 grants totaling more than 
$4 billion. NEA-supported projects 
range across all artistic disciplines and 
include museum exhibitions, internet 
initiatives, national tours, international 
exchanges, theater festivals and historic 
preservation. The NEA presents annual 
lifetime honors in three categories: NEA 
National Heritage Fellowships to master 
folk and traditional artists; NEA Jazz 
Masters Fellowships to jazz musicians 
and advocates; and now the NEA Opera 

The NEA Opera Honors, celebrating 
lifetime achievement and individual 

excellence, is the first individual honorific 
award established by the National 
Endowment for the Arts in more than a 
quarter century. OPERA America is a 
partner with the NEA in producing this 
program, with the Washington National 
Opera serving as this year's host com- 
pany. The first NEA Opera Honors 
recipients are soprano Leontyne Price, 
composer Carlisle Floyd, advocate 
Richard Gaddes and maestro James 
Levine. Miss Price is known for her 
elegant musicianship, her generosity 
to young singers and her remarkable 
recording legacy. Mr. Floyd has had a 
long and distinguished career; his many 
memorable operas include Susanna and 
Of Mice and Men. Mr. Gaddes, the 
recently retired general director of the 
Santa Fe Opera and the co-founder of 
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, is known 
for challenging, adventurous program- 
ming. Mr. Levine has led the Metropoli- 
tan Opera premieres of works by 
composers from Mozart to Weill and the 
world premieres of American operas by 
John Corigliano and John Harbison. 

The NEA Opera Honors program is 
the latest in a long line of NEA programs 
designed to foster the growth of the art 
form throughout the nation. Since 1967, 
the NEA has made more than 4,300 
grants to opera companies, artists and 
organizations, totaling almost $165 
million. Through its New American 
Works program, which ran from 1980 to 
1995, the NEA awarded more than 600 
grants to assist in the creation of new 
compositions, including John Adams's 

Nixon in China, Anthony Davis's Amistad 
and William Bolcom's A View from the 
Bridge. The NEA continues to support 
new work through its grant programs. 
The agency also supports other operatic 
fields, including young artists' programs 
in cities such as Houston, San Francisco 
and Chicago. Television and radio 
audiences also benefit from NEA funding 
of a variety of programs, including The 
Metropolitan Opera Presents (formerly 
known as Live from the Met), Great 
Performances and NPR's World of Opera. 

The NEA also supports and develops 
projects and leadership initiatives with 
significant national reach. It launched 
OPERA America's Opera Fund, which 
through 50 grants in its first three years 
awarded almost $1 million in support of 
new work. In 2005 - 2006, men and 
women in uniform experienced opera 
through the NEA's Great American 
Voices, in which 24 professional opera 
companies performed at 39 military 
bases across the country. 



From Dana Gioia, Chairman 
National Endowment for the Arts 

"It is with both official pride and personal 
pleasure that I welcome the NEA Opera 
Honors. These special lifetime awards are 
the first new class of official federal arts 
honors in more than 25 years. Their 
arrival not only celebrates the field of 
opera; it also recognizes the essential 
importance of all the arts. 

Opera has truly come of age in 
America. Over the past century it has 
developed herefrom a small art form 
associated mostly with European immi- 
grants into a distinctively American 
enterprise. Perhaps it has been most 
distinctive in its remarkable ability — like 
other American musical traditions such as 
jazz, Broadway and bluegrass — to 
incorporate the best of diverse traditions, 
both foreign and native, to create a 
recognizably American art. 

During this period American opera 
has blossomed in ways that would have 
astounded its earliest champions. Opera 
companies have emerged and flourished 
across the nation. Our singers, muscians, 
composers, directors, conductors and 
designers are second to none in the world. 
Our opera companies mount productions 
of great innovation, sophistication and 
artistic excellence. Our audiences continue 
to grow. 

Meanwhile our nation, which does so 
much /(> support the arts in other ways, has 
always been shy to offer national honors 
for artists. One only needs to compare our 
cash currency to that of other nations to see 
the cultural differences. ( her the past 
centuries the I '.S. has honored presidents 
and cabinet officials on its currency, Italy 

honors Caravaggio, Bernini and Puccini. 
England portrays the queen on one side of 
its pound notes, but turn one over and you 
find portraits of Dickens, Shakespeare and 

How joyful then that the time has 
come for the U.S. government to honor 
great living opera artists with the high C of 
official praise. With the support of 
Congress and the White House, the NEA 
was authorized to establish the nation's 
highest honor in opera — affirming the 
value of this great civic art form. 

The inaugural class of recipients — 
Leontyne Price, Carlisle Floyd, Richard 
Gaddes and James Levine — offers vivid 
portraits of the exceptional achievements 
of American opera. I look forward to 
seeing who in subsequent years is lauded 
for his or her accomplishments, who will 
serve as eloquent evidence that a great 
nation does indeed deserve great art" 


"The inauguration of the NEA Opera 
Honors documents the arrival of opera as 
an essential part of the American cultural 
landscape. Once considered old, foreign 
and irrelevant, opera is a multi-media art 
form that thrives in our new multi-media 
world. American artists illuminate works 
from across opera's 400 year literature 
while hundreds of new American operas 
portray American stories with stirring 
music and theatricality. 

Our view of opera is skewed by the 
long and illustrious history of the Metro- 
politan Opera — the country's oldest opera 
company, celebrating its 125th anniversary 
this year. In most communities, opera is 
relatively new. More than two-thirds of 
the opera companies in existence today 
were established after I960 — half of them 
after 1970. The rapid growth of opera in 
the United States in the '60s and '70s 
coincides with the establishment of the 
National Endowment for the Arts itself. 
This growth continues today as new opera 
companies are being launched in cities that 
have never been enriched by the availabil- 
ity of live performances. 

The increase in the number and 
variety of American opera companies has 
provided tremendous opportunity for 
American artists. * ' . ' a generation ago, 
aspiring American singers, conductors and 

From OPERA America's 

President and CEO Marc A. Scorca 

stage directors had to travel to Europe to 
gain experience before being considered for 
major productions in this country. Today, 
thanks to outstanding university opera 
programs, conservatories and young artist 
training programs at companies of all sizes 
— pioneered by the Apprentice Program of 
the Santa Fe Opera in the 1950s — 
American artists are among the most well- 
trained and versatile in the world, earning 
acclaim in all the major opera houses. 

Productions of American operas were 
rare until recently. While the United States 
has a rich history of opera composition, 
mainstage productions of operas by 
American composers were almost unheard 
of in the decades following World War II. 
Opera was at risk of becoming a museum 
art form as the 20th century progressed 
and companies remained exclusively 
devoted to the works of the late 18th and 
19th centuries. Responding to this risk, 
companies like the Santa Fe Opera and 
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, supported by 
funding from both the National Endow- 
ment for the Arts and OPERA America, 
made a commitment to commission and 
produce new American works. Today, 
opera companies premiere between 10 and 
20 new operas every season along with new 
productions of existing American works 
from the growing American canon. 

Opera in America has thrived in 
recent years. The creation of the NEA 
Opera Honors confirms opera's entry into 
the 21st century as a vital contributor to 
our country's cultural expression." 

OPERA America — the nonprofit 
service organization for opera — under 
the leadership of president and CEO 
Marc A. Scorca, serves the entire opera 
community, supporting the creation, 
presentation and enjoyment of opera. 
OPERA America's membership includes 
nearly 200 professional opera company 
members; 2,000 affiliate, individual and 
business members; and more than 18,500 
online subscribers. It is the only organiza- 
tion serving all constituents of the opera 
field, embracing a broad range of opera 
companies, creative and performing 
artists, and audience members. OPERA 
America also provides entry points to 
opera to a national audience through a 
variety of programs, ranging from the 
K-12 Music! Words! Opera! curriculum to 
an online learning series for adults. 

Artistic services help opera compa- 
nies and artists to improve the quality of 
productions and increase the creation and 
presentation of North American work. 
The Opera Fund, launched with assistance 
from the National Endowment for the 
Arts, has awarded more than $10 million 
in grants in support of the creation and 
production of new operas and related 
audience development activities. 

OPERA America's 17-person staff is 
based in New York, with a government 
affairs director positioned in Washington, 
D.C. OPERA America helped to establish 
Opera. ca (Toronto) and Opera Europa 
(Brussels) and works closely with both 
organizations to sustain and serve an 
international member network. 

"It is a great pleasure and privilege for all 
of us at Washington National Opera to be 
part of the first NEA Opera Honors awards 
program. Celebrating the great individuals 
in any field is always important, but I am 
especially happy to know that at long last 
the people who have committed themselves 
to opera — be they singers, conductors, 
composers or administrators — are 
receiving this wonderful recognition from 
the United States government. It seems 
fitting, also, that the first NEA Opera 
Honors recipients are being saluted here in 
the nation's capital, and Washington 
National Opera is proud to be the host for 
what is, in essence, an American operatic 

Washington National Opera is 
dedicated to presenting not only the 
masterpieces of the past but also the great 
works of our own time, including those by 
one of the evenings honorees, Carlisle 

The NEA Opera Honors singles out 
legends of our day — people who not only 
have inspired others throughout their 
careers but who are also models for future 


From Washington National Opera's 
General Director, Placido Domingo 

generations. I am especially pleased that 
singers from the Domingo -Cafritz Young 
Artist Program will perform at this first 
NEA Opera Honors gala: this allows us to 
pay tribute to living legends of American 
opera while we look toward the future 
through a new generation. 

On a personal note, I feel lucky to 
have been associated with all four of 
tonight's recipients. Leontyne Price is one 
of the greatest sopranos of this or any other 
time, and I am happy and honored to be 
able to call her a colleague. I will never 
forget the many opportunities I had to sing 
with her — to have that magnificent voice 
right next to my ear. Carlisle Floyd has 
written some of the most beloved operas 
of the twentieth century, and Washington 
National Opera has staged two of them: 
Susannah and Of Mice and Men. As an 
opera administrator, I enormously admire 
Richard Caddes, who has run two very 
different opera companies, in Saint Louis 
and Santa Fe, and has maintained their 
individuality. Finally, Maestro James 
Levine: he is my friend, my colleague and 
my mentor — a man who plavs such an 
important role in opera in America and 
has guided and will continue to guide so 
many singers with one, intelligence and 

These four people have helped to make 
opera a special part of our lives, and we 
will continue to look up to them as we 
strive toward a glorious future." 

Washington National Opera is 

recognized as one of the world's premier 
opera companies. Under the leadership 
of general director Placido Domingo, 
WNO has continued to move confidently 
forward since the company's founding in 
1956. More than five decades and 
countless artistic leaps later, the WNO 
has achieved the stature of a world class 
company, plays to capacity audiences at 
the Kennedy Center, and has recently 
appointed Mark Weinstein as executive 

WNO is committed to sustaining 
new American opera and has presented 
numerous world, American and com- 
pany premieres. 

Through the Center for Education 
and Training, which houses the cel- 
ebrated Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist 
Program, the award-winning Education 
and Community Programs, and the 
Placido Domingo Intern and Apprentice 
Program, and through its Access to Opera 
initiatives, WNO is dedicated to 
broadening the publics awareness and 
understanding o( opera. 

Lecwfutte iPrice 

"This award is visible 
evidence to the world of the 
esteem in which we as a 
nation hold opera. It was a 
long journey from my 
hometown of Laurel 
Mississippi, to the capital of 
the greatest country in the 
world. I thank everyone 
who was involved in my 
selection and I share this 
recognition with everyone 
who helped me along the 
way. They have my 
sincerest thanks and 
appreciation. I am still 
almost speechless." 




There are very few singers with voices that are as instantly recognizable, and revered, as 
the rich, creamy lyric soprano of Leontyne Price. She continues to be a powerful 
advocate not only for the art she loves, but for human rights. Born in Laurel, Missis- 
sippi in 1927, Price played the piano early on and soon began to sing at church and 
school. When she was 9 years old, she heard Marian Anderson in concert; that, Price 
has said, "was what you might call the original kickoff" for her pursuit of what became 
an astonishing vocal career. Although her 1961 debut as Leonora in Verdi's II Trovatore 
at the Metropolitan Opera instantly made her a legend — and landed her on the cover 
of Time magazine — she was already well known to opera audiences in cities such as 
San Francisco and Vienna (where, at the invitation of Herbert von Karajan, she made 
her debut as Aida in 1959). Price has made a long career in opera, concert and recital. 
Though she is best known as a Verdi and Puccini singer, she has always embraced the 
work of American composers, particularly Samuel Barber. She gave the premiere of his 
Hermit Songs at New York City's Town Hall in 1954, with the composer at the piano, 
and Barber went on to write many pieces for her. 

In 1997, Price introduced children to one of opera's greatest heroines in her book 
Aida, Her scores of awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom ( 1964 ), the 
Kennedy Center Honors ( 1980), the National Medal of the Arts ( 1985), the National 
Association of Black Broadcasters Award (2002), the French Order of Arts and Letters, 
the Italian Order of Merit, 19 Grammys and three Emmys. 

Leon fane zPtice 

SELECTED CDs currently in circulation 

Puccini: Tosca Decca with Di Stetano; conducted bv Karaian 

Verdi: Aida RCA with Bumbry, Domingo, Milnes; conducted bv Leinsdort 

Puccini: Sladama Butxc^'.: RCA with Elias, Tucker; conducted by Leinsdort 

Verdi: Requiem Decca with Elias, Bioerling, Tozzi; conducted bv Reiner 

bamtyne Price Sings Barber RCA Hermit So?igs with Barber at the piano. 
Summer of 1 915, among others; conducted by Schippers 

Right as the Rain RCA with Previn as conductor and pianist; popular classic songs 
bv Arlen, Rodsers, Previn, amons others 


Lecnfi/ne <Price 



Born in Laurel, Mississippi 


Hears Marian Anderson in Jackson, Mississippi 


Performs title role of Tosca for a major television network, NBC 


San Francisco Opera debut as Madame Lidoine in American premiere 
of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites 


Vienna Staatsoper debut in title role of Aida 


Metropolitan Opera debut as Leonora in // Trovatore 


At the opening of the new Met, sings world premiere 
of Barber's Antony and Cleopatra 


Sings at the funeral of former President Lyndon B. Johnson 


Publishes Aula, a book for children 


Makes a special appearance to sing at Carnegie Hall memorial concert 
for victims of 9/1 1 



Cjar/is/e fflcud 


When I received the call 

from Chairman Gioia, I 
was a little stunned. My 
feeling was not so much 
that I felt undeserving, but 
that there were other 
composers also deserving. 
I am less stunned now, but 
no less deeply grateful 
for being selected for this 
unique honor." 


hi jflem 


One of the most admired opera composers and librettists of the last half century, 
Carlisle Floyd speaks in a uniquely American voice, capturing both the cadences and 
the mores of our society. Born in Latta, South Carolina in 1926, Floyd studied both 
composition and piano. He taught at South Florida University from 1947 to 1976, all 
the while actively composing, and in 1976 became the M. D. Anderson Professor of 
Music at the University of Houston. In Houston, he and David Gockley established the 
important Houston Grand Opera Studio, which for more than three decades has helped 
train young artists in the full spectrum of opera. (Graduates include Erie Mills, Denyce 
Graves and Joyce Di Donate) 

Floyd's operas are rooted in America, both in subject and in style, and are widely 
performed in the United States and abroad. They include Susannah (1955), The Passion 
of Jonathan Wade (1962; revised, 1990), Of Mice and Men (1970), Bilby's Doll ( 1976), 
Willie Stark ( 1981 ) and Cold Sassy Tree (2000). A 2001 inductee of the American 
Academy of Arts and Letters, Floyd has received numerous honors, such as a 
Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Opera Institute's Award for Service to 
American Opera. He was the first chairman of the NEA's Opera/Musical Theater Panel, 
which the agency created in 1976. In 2004, the President of the United States awarded 
him a National Medal of Arts. 

C;/ir/is/c tfleifd 

SELECTED CD/DVDs currently in circulation 

Susannah (Virgin Classics) Studer, Hadley, Ramey; conducted by Nagano 

The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair (VAI) Neway, Treigle; conducted by Rudel 

Markheim (VAI) Crofoot, Schuh, Treigle; conducted by Andersson 

Of Mice and Men (Albany) Evans and others; conducted by Summers 

Willie Stark (DVD: Newport Classic) Louisiana State University production 

Cold Sassy Tree (Albany) Racette and others; conducted by Summers 






Gar /is /e !flcifd 



Born in Latta, South Carolina 


Begins his teaching career at Florida State University 


Florida State University stages world premiere of Susannah 


New York City Opera world premiere of The Passion of Jonathan Wade 


Of Mice and Men has premiere at Seattle Opera 


Becomes M.D. Anderson Professor of Music at University of Houston 


Co-founds, with David Gockley, the Houston Grand Opera Studio 


PBS's Great Performances presents world premiere of Willie Stark 


World premiere of A Time to Dance, a choral work, at American Choral Directors 
Association convention in San Antonio 


Cold Sassy Tree has world premiere at Houston Grand Opera 





zfyp/iard Gaddes 

"Ifs rewarding, but also 
humbling, to be part of this 
quartet of recipients, the 
other three of whom are 
icons in the world of opera. 
The job of an impresario 
differs so much from that of 
composers, conductors and 
singers. In my case it is the 
magnificent work of the 
Santa Fe Opera family — 
staff, performers and tech- 
nicians — that is being 
recognized with me. I am 
indeed grateful to the 
National Endowment for 
the Arts for this honor." 




Richard Gaddes has spent most of his professional life guiding and raising the profile of 
two important regional American companies, the Santa Fe Opera, from which he 
recently retired as general director, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Born in 
Wallsend, England in 1942 and now a permanent United States resident, Gaddes 
studied at London's Trinity College of Music. In the '60s, he launched a program of 
lunchtime concerts by young musicians at Wigmore Hall, an initiative that is emblem- 
atic of his work since: in both Santa Fe and Saint Louis, he has championed young 
singers. In 1969, at the invitation of Santa Fe Opera founder John Crosby, he became 
the company's artistic administrator. He founded the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 
1976 and ran it until 1985, but remained a consultant to Santa Fe. He returned there 
full-time in 1994, and later succeeded John Crosby as general director. 

Throughout his tenure at both companies, Gaddes made a reputation for program- 
ming much adventurous repertoire both old and new, imaginative casting and 
productions, building audiences and spotting young stars before others did. A former 
vice president of OPERA America, he has served on many arts boards and is, at present, 
a member of the board of directors of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. His list of 
honors includes the National Institute for Music Theatre Award and the Young Audi- 
ences' Cultural Achievement Award. 

iHfciard Qaddes 

SELECTED CD/DVDs currently in circulation 

While Richard Gaddes is not associated with these recordings, the following works 
represent those that he has helped to introduce or bring to the attention of 
American opera audiences. 

Rameau: Pigmalion (Virgin Classics Veritas) Fournie, Fouchecourt; conducted by Niquet 

Breton: La Verbena de la Paloma (DVD Decca) Lopez, Suarez; conducted by Roa 

Britten: Albert Herring (Naxos) Palmer, Barstow, Lloyd, Finley; conducted by Bedford 

Britten: Owen Wingrave (DVD Kultur Video) Barstow, Finley; conducted by Nagano 

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen (Decca) Popp; conducted by Mackerras 

Golijov: Ainadamar (DG) Upshaw; conducted by Spano 


zftyf/jard Qaddes 



Born in Wallsend, England 


Named artistic administrator of Santa Fe Opera 


Founds Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) 


World premiere at OTSL of The Postman Always Rings Twice, by Stephen Paulus 


Jornri, by Japanese composer Minoru Miki, has world premiere at OTSL 


Returns to Santa Fe Opera as associate director 


Becomes general director of Santa Fe Opera 


Madame Mao, by Bright Sheng, has world premiere in Santa Fe 


Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar, with a reworked libretto, presented in Santa Fe 


American premiere of Thomas Adcs's The Tempest in Santa Fe 

I 1 


"— < 

'antes j^evwe 

"In the years since its 
inception, the National 
Endowment for the Arts 
has contributed enor- 
mously to the health and 
growth of the arts in the 
United States. It is a great 
honor for me to be among 
the first recipients of this 
award, and an honor to the 
art form itself that the NEA 
is recognizing the impor- 
tant place of opera in the 
artistic life of this country" 

r rA NEA 

Since he first took the podium at the Metropolitan Opera in 1971, James Levine has 
conducted nearly 2,500 performances there — a record number — and his repertoire is 
equally staggering: 85 operas. He is noted for his collaboration with singers, but equally 
important is his work with the Met orchestra, which he has fine-tuned into one of the 
world's leading ensembles. 

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1943, Levine excelled as a pianist even in childhood. 
Setting his course as a conductor, he graduated from Juilliard in 1964, and in that same 
year was invited by George Szell to join the Cleveland Orchestra as the youngest 
assistant conductor in its long history. Over the next several years, he led many 
orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera's, and in 1975 became the company's 
music director. He has led Met premieres of works by numerous composers, including 
Mozart, Verdi, Stravinsky, Berg, Schoenberg, Rossini, Berlioz and Weill, as well as the 
world premieres of two American operas, John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles and 
John Harbison's The Great Gatshy. While maintaining his position at the Met, Levine 
has continued to work as an accompanist and chamber musician and has led orchestras 
around the world. From 1973 to 1993, he was music director of the Ravinia Festival, 
the summer residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; from 1999 to 2004, he was 
chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. In 2004, Levine became music director 
of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a post he continues to hold. With the BSO, he has 
introduced new works by such composers as Elliott Carter, William Bolcom, Milton 
Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen and John Harbison. Among the numerous awards Levine 
has received are the Gold Medal for Service to Humanity from the National Institute of 
Social Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' 2005 award for Distin- 
guished Service to the Arts. In 1997, the President of the United States awarded him a 
National Medal of Arts and, in 2003, he was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. 

/James Levitt e 

SELECTED CD/DVDs currently in circulation 

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (CD and DVD; DG) Metropolitan Opera 

Strauss: Elektra (DVD; DG) Nilsson, Rysanek 

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin (DG) Burchuladze, Freni, von Otter, T. Allen 

Berlioz: Les Troyens (DVD; DG) Norman, Troyanos, Domingo 

Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles (DVD; DG) Stratas, Fleming, Home, Clark, 
G. Quilico, Hagegard (currently not in circulation) 

Lieberson: Neruda Songs (Nonesuch) Hunt Lieberson 


f James Levitte 



Born in Cincinnati, Ohio 


Debuts as piano soloist with Cincinnati Orchestra playing 
Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2 


Invited by George Szell to become assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra 


Conducts Tosca in Metropolitan Opera debut 


Appointed music director of the Metropolitan Opera 


Inaugurates Metropolitan Opera Presents on TV, conducting La Boheme 


Founds the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program 


Conducts world premiere of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles at the Met 


Leads first Met performance of Schoenberg's Moses und Aron 


While remaining at the Met, becomes Boston Symphony Orchestra music director 




The National Endowment for the Arts is established 


First six grants to opera companies, totaling $453,000 


NEA supports hrst Live from the Met television broadcast featuring La Boheme 
conducted by Levine, with Pavarotti and Scotto 


Creation of the NEAs Opera Musical Theater panel 


First grant to Lyric Opera of Chicago's voung artist program 


New American Works NAW program to help fund new opera 


American premiere of NAW- funded Satyagraha by Philip Glass 


Begins supporting National Public Radios World of Opera 


Launching of OPERA America s Opera Fund for new works 


Great American Voices, an NEA national initiative, sends opera companies 

to militarv bases 


Launch of NEA Opera Honors 

\ccess / j\{aj(iyjj a j\!mwaficy 

NEA Opera Honors 

For the first time in 25 years, Congress 
has authorized a new award to recognize 
lifetime achievement and individual 
excellence, the National Endowment for 
the Arts Opera Honors (NEA Opera 
Honors). This award honors visionaries 
and luminaries who, by making extraor- 
dinary contributions to opera in the 
United States, have become cultural 
treasures of this great nation. It repre- 
sents the highest recognition that our 
nation bestows in opera. 

The NEA Opera Honors pays tribute 
to those visionary creators, extraordinary 
performers and other interpreters who 
have made a lasting impact on our 
national cultural landscape, based either 
on a lifetime of artistic achievements or a 
single, uniquely valuable accomplish- 
ment. Nominees may include compos- 
ers, librettists, singers, conductors, 
designers and directors. In special 
circumstances, collaborative artistic 
teams may be nominated to acknowledge 
an exemplary American opera that has 
generated excitement, attracted audi- 
ences and demonstrated potential for 
expanding the canon of the American 
opera repertoire. The NEA Opera 
Honors also will recognize individuals 
whose mastery has advanced the knowl- 
edge and/or appreciation of opera for the 
general public. Awards will be $25,000 
each and may be received once in a 
lifetime. A limited number will be 

How to Submit a 

Recipients of the NEA Opera Honors are 
selected on the basis of nominations 
from the public. Nominations may be 
for individuals or for a group of indi- 
viduals (e.g., a collaborative artistic 
team). Nominees must be citizens or 
permanent residents of the United States. 
Posthumous nominations will not be 
considered. Nominations must be 
submitted online at the Arts 
Endowment's website at 
honors/opera/nomination.html. An 
individual may submit one nomination 
per year. No one may nominate him/ 

Review of Nominations 

The selection criteria for the NEA Opera 
Honors are the artistic excellence and 
significance of a nominee's contributions 
to opera and the lasting impact on our 
national cultural landscape. Nomina- 
tions are reviewed by an advisory panel 
of opera experts and at least one 
knowledgeable layperson. Panel recom- 
mendations are forwarded to the 
National Council on the Arts, which then 
makes recommendations to the chairman 
of the National Endowment for the Arts. 
The chairman reviews the council's 
recommendations and makes the final 
decision on award recipients. If not 
selected for an NEA Opera Honors 
award, nominees will be placed on the 
following year's nominations list and will 
remain there for up to four years. Please 
contact Georgianna Paul, Opera Special- 
ist, 202/682-5600 or with 
any questions. 




For complete details about 
the NEA Opera Honors and the 
NEA Opera Honorees, visit 


NEA ,. 

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The National Endowment for the Arts wishes to acknowledge the 1 10th Congress of the United States for the enabling legislation to 
create the NEA Opera Honors. 

For their role in imagining, creating and implementing the NEA Opera Honors and for their contributions to the publication, we extend 
our heartfelt thanks to these individuals: Katrine Ames, Guiomar Barbi, Wayne S. Brown, Mario Garcia Durham, Karen Elias, 
Mary Lou Falcone, David Foti, Patti Humphrey, JoAnn LaBrecque-French, Ted Libbey, Janice Mayer, Georgianna Paul, Christina 
Scheppelmann, Marc A. Scorca, Yuval Sharon, Michael R. Sonnenreich, Jan Stunkard and Mark Weinstein; as well as the staff of 
OPERA America, Washington National Opera and the Harman Center for the Arts for producing the awards ceremony and concert. 

For adding their essential perspectives to create the video portraits of the NEA Opera Honorees, we wish to acknowledge: Mark Adamo, 
Stuart Ashman, David Chan, Frank Corsaro, Phyllis Curtin, Renee Fleming, Peter Gelb, David Gockley, Osvaldo Golijov, 
Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby Paul Kilmer, Charles Mackay, Terrence McNally, Peter Sellars and 
Brad Woolbright; and for direction and production: Matt Black, Greg Emetaz, Antonia Grilikhes-Lasky and Daniel Heffernan. 

For providing their expertise in the advancement of the NEA Opera Honors initiative, we are appreciative of: Carmen Balthrop, 

Sarah Billinghurst, Susan Carlyle, Michael Ching, John Corigliano, Janice Del Sesto, Rodney Hood, Speight Jenkins, Plato Karayanis, 

Patrick J. Smith and Mark Swed. 

For providing print, video, audio and website materials in this inaugural year of the NEA Opera Honors, we are deeply grateful to: 
96.3 FM WQXR, Albany Records, American Federation of Musicians, American Guild of Musical Artists, ASCAP, Boosey & Hawkes, 
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Corporation, "CBS News Sunday Morning," Cincinnati Symphony, The Cleveland 
Orchestra, Fettmann, Tolchin & Majors, PC, Fondazione Teatro alia Scala, G. Schirmer, Inc., Bill Holab, Houston Grand Opera, Ken 
Howard, Tom Levine, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Marian Anderson Award at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The 
Metropolitan Opera, Minoru Miki, Musical America Worldwide, New York City Opera, New York Public Library for the Performing 
Arts, Opera News, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opus 3 Artists, The Paley Center for Media, Stephen Paulus, 
General George B. Price, Jeanne and Joseph Rescigno, Research Video, Inc., San Francisco Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, Schott-EAM, 
Steven Sharpe, Tanglewood Music Center, Universal Music Classical, VAI Music, Matt Walker, Michael Willis and Eugenia Zukerman. 

For their gracious support of the reception preceding the NEA Opera Honors Awards Ceremony & Concert, we sincerely thank Bob and 
Miryam Knutson. 

This is a partial list, complete at the time of printing. 

Published by: 

National Endowment for the Arts | Office of Communications | Victoria Hutter, Acting Director 

October 2008 

Logo and publication designed by: Falcone Design Group, Palm Springs, CA 

Additional copies of this publication may be obtained free of charge at, the website of the National Endowment 
for the Arts. 

202-682-3496 Voice/TTY For individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. 


^^\ Individuals who do not use conventional print materials may contact the Arts Endowments's Office for AccessAbility at 
202-682-5733 to obtain this publication in an alternate format. 

c Miic C 


Page 3 

Dana Gioia, photo by Vance Jacobs. 

Page 4 

Marc A. Scorca, photo by Dario Acosta. 

Page 5 

Placido Domingo, photo by 
Karin Cooper. 

Page 6 and cover photo 

Leontyne Price, photo by Jack Mitchell, 
courtesy of Sony BMG Music. 

Page 7 

Price in the title role of Aida, courtesy of 
Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Page 8 

Price at home and in the Egyptian wing 
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago. 
Singing at the September 1 1 memorial 
concert (September 30, 2001 ) at Carnegie 
Hall with Levine at the piano, photo by 
Richard Termine, courtesy of 
Carnegie Hall. 

Page 9 

Three early career portraits and speaking 
at a school in Dallas in the 1980s, 
courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Page 10 and cover photo 

Carlisle Floyd, photo by Jim Caldwell. 

Page 11 

Premiere production of Willie Stark in 
1981, photo by Jim Caldwell, courtesy of 
Houston Grand Opera. 

Page 12 

Program cover for Willie Stark, courtesy 
of Houston Grand Opera. A scene from 
Of Mice and Men, photo by George 

Hixson, courtesy of Houston Grand 
Opera. Program cover for Susannah, 
courtesy of Fort Worth Opera. 

Page 13 

Portrait of Floyd in the 1970s; Floyd and 
David Gockley in the 1980s; Floyd and 
soprano Catherine Malfitano, photo by 
H. David Kaplan; all courtesy of Houston 
Grand Opera. 

Page 14 and cover photo 

Richard Gaddes, photo by Ken Howard, 
courtesy of Santa Fe Opera. 

Page 15 

The theater at Santa Fe Opera, photo by 
Robert Godwin. 

Page 16 

Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar, photo by 
Ken Howard, courtesy of Santa Fe Opera. 
Stephen Paulus's The Postman Always 
Rings Twice, photo by Ken Howard, 
courtesy of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. 
Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring, photo 
by Ken Howard, courtesy of Santa Fe 

Page 17 

Photo of Gaddes by Ken Howard, 
courtesy of Santa Fe Opera. Early career 
photo of Gaddes, courtesy of Santa Fe 
Opera. Gaddes with Jonathan Miller, 
director of Cosi fan tutte at Saint Louis, 
photo by Ken Howard, courtesy of Opera 
Theatre of Saint Louis. 

Page 18 and cover photo 

lames Levine, photo by Koichi Miura. 

Page 19 

Curtain call, Levine with Placido 
Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, 
courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera 

Page 20 

Levine conducting the Cleveland 
Orchestra, photo by Peter Hastings, 
courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra 
Archives. Levine on the cover of the 1984 
Musical America magazine, courtesy of 
Musical America Worldwide. Stephen 
Portman, George Szell, Michael Charry 
and Levine (left to right), photo by Peter 
Hastings, courtesy of The Cleveland 
Orchestra Archives. 

Page 21 

Early portrait of Levine, photo by Peter 
Hastings, courtesy of The Cleveland 
Orchestra Archives. Luciano Pavarotti 
and Mirella Freni in the 1977 television 
broadcast of La Boheme, conducted by 
Levine, courtesy of the Metropolitan 
Opera Archives. The world premiere 
production of John Corigliano's The 
Ghosts of Versailles, photo by Ken 
Howard, courtesy of the Metropolitan 
Opera Archives. 

Page 22 

Santa Fe Opera's 1991 production of Le 
Nozze di Figaw, photo by Murrae Haynes, 
courtesy o\ Santa Fe Opera. Opera 
Theatre of Saint Louis's 1994 production 
of ( andide, photo by Ken Howard, 
courtes) of Opera Theatre o\ Saint I ouis, 
I yric Opera o\ Kansas ( lit) 's 1 99493 
season production of Ariadne auf No* 
courtesy o\ I yric Opera o\ Kansas City. 

A Great Nation Deserves Great Art. 


The Nancy Hanks Center 

1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20506-0001