Missy Mazzoli: creator of operas and symphonies, mentor for younger composers

Posted on: January 19, 2018

“For Christmas this year, Missy Mazzoli’s aunt knitted her a black sheep. It was an affectionate gesture. Mazzoli, 37, is one of the top composers of her generation,” writes Anne Midgette in last Friday’s (1/12) Washington Post. “Seven or eight years ago … you might not have guessed that Mazzoli’s work was going to veer into the world of mainstream opera. But on Friday, the Washington National Opera will be presenting the world premiere of her third opera, a 70-minute piece called ‘Proving Up’ … with the prolific librettist Royce Vavrek.” Among Mazzoli’s orchestral works are Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2014, River Rouge Transfiguration (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 2013), and Holy Roller (Albany Symphony, 2012). “The work that put Mazzoli … squarely on the map [was] an operatic adaptation of Lars von Trier’s film ‘Breaking the Waves,’ also written with Vavrek, that premiered at Opera Philadelphia in 2016…. ‘It was life-changing for me,’ Mazzoli says…. She has set out to provide role models for teenage would-be composers. The Luna Composition Lab, a partnership with New York’s Kaufman Center, provides mentorship, regular lessons and field trips to concerts for a small group of female-identifying composers between 13 and 19.”

Posted January 19, 2018

Missy Mazzoli photo by Marylene Mey