Michael Abels: A Great Privilege

“It’s a great privilege to bring Omar to San Francisco.” And so notes Matthew Shilvock, General Director of the San Francisco Opera, on the eve of the opera company’s November 5, 2023 performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Abels – and fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning co-composer/librettist Rhiannon Giddens’ – opera, Omar. The work was commissioned by […]

Abels: Omar wins The Pulitzer!

Congratulations to co-composers Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels on being awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music for their first opera Omar. The Pulitzer Prize Citation reads: “Omar, by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels. Premiered on May 27, 2022 at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C., an innovative and compelling opera about the enslaved […]

Abels: Omar goes to Boston

“Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) has been eager for New England audiences to encounter Omar since we became a partner in creating this extraordinary new opera.” – Bradley Vernatter On the eve of the BLO’s New England premiere of co-composers Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels’ work Omar, General Director & CEO Bradley Vernatter shares some thoughts […]

Abels: Omar in LA – Director’s Cut

Welcome back to our short series leading up to the Los Angeles Opera’s West Coast premiere of Michael Abels’ opera Omar, co-composed with Grammy winning-artist and librettist Rhiannon Giddens. The opera tells the story of historical figure Omar Ibn Said, who was an 18th century West African scholar (from modern-day Senegal) who was captured by […]

Abels: Omar in LA – Librettist Voice

As we approach the Los Angeles Opera’s West Coast premiere of Michael Abels’ opera Omar, we check-in with Grammy-winner Rhiannon Giddens. Giddens co-composed original music for Omar and also wrote the opera’s English-language libretto. Omar was commissioned by the Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC) and received its premiere in May 2022. The opera is scored […]

Abels: Omar Goes to LA

On October 22, 2022, the Los Angeles Opera presents Michael Abels’ opera Omar, in its second performances following the opera’s May 2022 premiere which took place at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC. Commissioned by Spoleto Festival USA and Carolina Performing Arts, Omar was co-composed with Grammy-winning musician and librettist Rhiannon Giddens. The two-act […]

Abels: “Borders” Premieres

On September 23, 2022, soloist Mak Grgić, premieres composer Michael Abels’ Borders, Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, with ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) in Houston, TX. Mei-Ann Chen guest-conducts. The two-movement, 17-minute concerto was commissioned for Grgić by ROCO and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (Iowa). The concert will be live-streamed, and will receive a […]