Langley music school contest allows writers to create opera storyline

The Langley Community Music School (LCMS) is looking for young B.C. writers between the ages of 12 and 24 to contribute stories to the school’s exciting new project OperaTion Youth.

The winner(s) will have their story set to music by young composers and presented in performance in May 2015.

People must sign up to write by Feb. 28 and have the work completed by April.

“We are excited to launch this community music project in Langley,” said Marcel Bergmann, LCMS director of program advancement and OperaTion Youth project co-director. “This is a unique opportunity for young people to be involved in a creative project from its inception, collaborating with an array of professionals and other young artists.”

One or more stories will be chosen through a competitive process, and selected young writers will have the opportunity to work closely with a professional librettist to develop their story into an opera/musical theatre piece.

The production will be adapted to the submissions received – whether ultimately a single multi-act opera or up to three short one act operas. Once the libretto(s) are complete, young composers will also be selected through a competitive process, and will work with a professional composer to develop their scores.

There will be a cash award presented to the selected writers and composers.

Four performances are planned for May 2015 to coincide with B.C. Youth Week. Performances will take place in LCMS’ Rose Gellert Hall.

OperaTion Youth includes project co-directors Marcel Bergmann and Elizabeth Bergmann; Kico Gonzalez-Risso, librettist/director; and Joel Stobbe, conductor.

The call for entries is open to B.C. residents between the ages of 12 and 24. Interested individuals must submit an expression of interest to LCMS including a cover letter with their contact information and age, story outline and a 250-word summary by Feb. 28. The story will be based on a socially relevant theme and will be suitable for a family audience. Applicants must attend a March 15 workshop at LCMS with the librettist.

Additional dates and deadlines are outlined below:   

Feb. 28 Expression of interest deadline.

March 7 Shortlisted applicants notified.

March 15 Workshop with shortlisted applicants.

April 22 Story submission deadline (shortlisted candidates only).

April 30 Notification of selected writers/stories.

May 1 to June 30 Selected writer(s) work with librettist to develop and complete libretto.              

May 2015 Performances at LCMS during B.C. Youth Week.

Interested applicants should submit their expression of interest by email to with OperaTion Youth in the subject line or by mail to Langley Community Music School, 4899 207th St., Langley, BC  V3A 2E4, attention: OperaTion Youth.

“As it progresses, the project will bring many more opportunities for youth in surrounding communities,” said Marcel Bergmann, “including vocal soloists, instrumentalists, and others looking to help with stage management and set design to name a few.”

For more information, contact Marcel or Elizabeth Bergmann at 604-534-2848.

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