Past Artist Calls

Below are examples of past artist calls. Click on the text to learn more:

  1. Let’s Celebrate! Living Holiday Traditions in America
  2. Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices

1. Call for Composer-Librettist Teams for “Let’s Celebrate! Living Holiday Traditions in America”

White Snake Projects, an activist opera company, is soliciting applications from composer/librettist teams to write short original operas based on their culture’s living holiday traditions as they are celebrated in the US. 

While Christmas is an important holiday tradition for many Americans, there are many other holidays celebrated in the United States today. With the beginning of the American “holiday season,” we want to hear about the celebrations that are important to you, your family, and your culture. Some examples of diverse cultural celebrations a composer/librettist team could write a story about are Hanukkah, the Spring Festival, O-Bon, Diwali, etc. The holiday you choose may take place any time of year. We emphasize that we’re looking for stories of lived experiences, not just an exposition of what the celebration is or how it originated. The holiday story must be set in America as we’re showcasing how different cultural and ethnic groups celebrate their special holidays in America. 


  1. No more than 20 minutes of music
  2. Ensemble: Violin, Cello, Piano
  3. Vocal Forces: Soprano, Mezzo, Baritone
  4. Family friendly story and music
  5. Demonstrated ability to create theatrical works for voice, and instrumental ensemble. Previous experience writing for opera is not required.
  6. Willingness to work with dramaturgical and composing mentors
  7. At least three commissions will be awarded. These works should suit a diverse group of singers who will be singing all the chosen pieces and who may not necessarily represent the selected works’ eithnic or national origins. For example, a work celebrating the Day of the Dead may include non-Mexican-descended performers. If you feel that a particular holiday has to be represented by performers from a specific religious or ethnic background, we will not be able to provide such specific casting.


$800 per Composer/Librettist Team

Piano Vocal Workshop Housing and Travel provided

Composer/Librettist Teams, please submit the following materials:

  1. Bios of 200 words.
  2. A short statement of no more than 500 words on why you chose your particular celebration for this commission.
  3. A Treatment of the proposed story/libretto which should outline, scene by scene, the dramaturgical progression of the opera.  No more than 1,200 words, please. Composers can be their own librettist and should submit their proposal accordingly.
  4. A 500-word synopsis of the plot.
  5. Work Samples:
    • For Composers: Two samples (hosted audio or video on sites like YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud) with at least one sample featuring a human voice or voices.  Neither sample should exceed 10 minutes in length.  Please include the scores.

that demonstrate your story telling abilities.  These may include poetry, short stories and excerpts of plays, operas or music-theater works.  Neither sample should exceed 10 minutes or 10 pages, if written.


Application Deadline:  December 15, 2019

Adjudication:  January 2020

Notification:  January 2020

Piano/Vocal Score Due: June 15, 2020

Workshop:   July 2020

Full Score Due: October 1, 2020

Performance: December 2020

There is no guarantee that a commissioned work will be selected to be workshopped and/or performed.

Please direct any questions to [email protected] with the subject: Let’s Celebrate!


Call for Writers and Composers for Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices

White Snake Projects is excited to announce the second year of Sing Out Strong, a community-based project that sets stories to music on activist themes flowing organically from our mainstage operas. Last year was the inaugural launch with SING OUT STRONG: Immigrant Voices, as part of our 2019 new opera, I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. In 2020, it’s Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices, as the companion piece to our 2020 mainstage opera, Cosmic Cowboy, with its themes of colonization.

2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing on Plymouth Rock, marking 400 years of colonization of our First Nation Natives. Cosmic Cowboy and SOS: DeColonized Voices will be a counterpoint to the many celebrations of this event anticipated to take place in Massachusetts. More broadly, it will give us the opportunity to explore the human instinct to dominate and/or subjugate people unlike oneself by looking at colonial history. It also looks into the future, as today’s scientists research the possibility of one day colonizing Mars. Colonization has made the political world map look as it does today, drawing up borders with no regard for local sensibilities and realities. It has created a legacy of conflict, precipitating the mass migration of people from Central and South America, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa.

We are collecting stories from writers about their experiences of the effects of colonization and will commission composers who have experienced, witnessed, and/or who identify strongly against the negative effects of colonization, to set these stories to music. These songs will be presented in free public concerts in May 2020, as well as on WSP’s mainstage as the prologue to Cosmic Cowboy.  

  • Writers, please submit the writing (songs, poems, text or stories told predominantly in English) that you wish us to consider as the lyrics to a song on themes of colonization. Do not worry whether your writing is “singable.” White Snake Projects will assist the selected writers to rework the lyrics, if necessary. Short stories should be no more than one page. Composers can be their own lyricists and should submit their lyrics accordingly.
  • Composers, please submit two (2) links to recorded samples of your work on hosted audio or video on sites like YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. Studio-quality recordings are not required.
  • Any questions, email us at <ahref=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected] with Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices, as the subject. </ahref=”mailto:[email protected]”>
  • The applicants selected to be part of the songwriting teams will be paid an honorarium.
  • Deadline: February 7, 2020. Selected writers and composers will be notified by the end of February, 2020.
  • Final songs are due April 15, 2020.


You may write whatever comes to mind, or respond to one or more of the following prompts:

  • Have you felt like a “second class” citizen in your own homeland?
  • Does a culture other than your own seem superior to your own ethnic heritage? In what way? How did you develop this mindset?
  • Are you new to living in this country? What challenges do you face living somewhere new?
  • Do you consider yourself “American”? What does being “American” mean to you?
  • What does “freedom” mean to you?
  • Has colonization changed part of your heritage, e.g., food (chop suey which is not part of Chinese cuisine), the modern belly dance costume (a Hollywood invention), etc.?
  • How do you feel about cultural appropriation (when someone outside of your culture or ethnicity practices an aspect of your culture)? For instance, when a white person wears braids they may be considered trendy, but when you do this, it may be considered unprofessional?

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