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Biennale College Musica 2019

Call for applications 2019

The project for the Biennale College – Musica 2019 intends to promote and support the production of a maximum of 4 short “low budget” chamber musical theatre operas based on a comical, surreal, fantastic and/or playful theme, lasting no longer than 18 minutes each, to be presented by La Biennale di Venezia and also released online in the appropriate forms.

The selection is open, internationally, to teams consisting of a composer and a librettist, aged 35 and under.

The composers need not necessarily be at their debut work, and must apply in association with librettists for a musical theatre project composed for the following instruments: flute (any one of the series), clarinet, trumpet, 2 violins, viola, cello, percussions (1 performer), piano and live electronics, plus a conductor.

The vocalists must number no more than 4 characters chosen among the following voice types: soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass.

The electronic part may be produced at the Centro Informatico Musicale e Multimediale of La Biennale di Venezia, which will provide the necessary hardware and software under the guidance of a computer music producer and a sound engineer, who will also be present at rehearsals and at the performances.
The work sessions in the studio will be organized according to a schedule that will be established at the moment of selection. This electronic part must be sufficiently detailed in the presentation of the project. The feasibility of producing this part will be a fundamental factor in the selection process.

The application must be submitted exclusively as a team (composer and librettist). No substitutions will be allowed within the selected teams.

The selected teams will be assisted through each phase in the development of the project by a director selected by the Director of the Theatre Department of La Biennale di Venezia, Antonio Latella.

Project Structure

The project will be coordinated by the Director of the Music Department of La Biennale di Venezia Ivan Fedele as follows:

  • March 2019: First workshop session in Venice, with the directors and with the masters from the various disciplines involved in the project, focusing on the general themes of traditional and contemporary musical theatre, especially as they concern the relationship between text and music and the use of live electronics.
    The Artistic Director Ivan Fedele reserves the right to approve in full or in part the projects developed during this phase, and to invite the teams of the selected projects to participate in the next phase.
  • April 2019: Second workshop session in Venice with the Biennale College team; during this phase, there will be a selection of the singers who will participate in the project, made by the members of the team with Director Ivan Fedele.
    Formalise pre-production and verify the feasibility and costs of each selected project.
    Furthermore, during this phase, the teams must plan the production of their works, which includes:
    · delivery of the definitive libretto;
    · start of studio production for the live-electronics;
    · the definitive draft of the production budget by the staff of the Biennale College Music;
    · development of a production plan that includes stage and musical rehearsals.
  • June 2019: Meeting with the Biennale College team to:
    · deliver the complete score, the music and the parts;
    · deliver the project for the stage.
  • early September 2019: Third workshop session in Venice with the Biennale College team.
    Session programme to be defined with the participants and the tutors.
  • late September / early October 2019 (tentatively this will require two weeks of work): fourth session in Venice, dedicated to the production of the works by the teams, including stage and musical rehearsals with the support of the artists and masters involved in the project.

The performance of the works will take place during the month of October 2019 as part of the 63rd International Festival of Contemporary Music.

Selection and announcement
Deadline for registering for the selection: 7 February 2019.

The selection is open internationally.

The selection will be made by the Artistic Director of the Music Department of La Biennale di Venezia Ivan Fedele, whose decision will be final. He may be assisted by consultants of his own choosing, who might include, merely as an example, a director, an actor, a writer, an expert in theatre productions, a composer. The selection, of up to a maximum of 4 projects, will be announced around mid-February 2019.

Conditions and rules of participation

Attendance is mandatory for participation in the project.
The selected participants may stay in an apartment arranged for them by La Biennale di Venezia.
The participants must pay for their own travel, food and local transportation expenses during each phase of the project.

Each selected applicant will be required to pay a registration fee in the amount of € 80.00 (VAT included, non-refundable) to be paid exclusively by credit card following the announcement of their acceptance, and no later than the date that will be designated.


The documentation – which must be submitted exclusively online between January 22nd and February 7th, 2019 via a registration form  – must include:
a) A 1-page synopsis.
b) A low-budget project, indicatively 5 pages long, that describes the general idea of the project with an original subject.
c) The composers must submit two scores and relative recordings, if available, for a chamber ensemble with or without voice.
d) The librettists must submit two previously written texts, which need not necessarily have been written for the theatre.
e) The curriculum vitae of the composer and the librettist.
f) The casting project.
g) The project for the use of live electronics
h) Release forms concerning full ownership of the rights to the submitted project or, should the rights of third parties be involved, the guarantee that the acquisition of all rights in view of production has been concluded or is currently being negotiated.

Biennale Musica
Biennale Musica