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OUR Mothly NewsLetter - March 2023

What’s Ahead for Alliance for New Music-Theatre in 2023?

As we continue to develop major productions of new works in 2023, we work to amplify our commitment to foster professional development and collaborative opportunities of artists across cultures and to engage audiences in the creative process across all our programs to promote a deeper understanding of the transformative power of music-theatre in its many forms.

Our first Outing for the Winter/Spring Live & About program is coming up soon. Hope you can join us.

We are also embarking on a series of monthly community workshops and master classes that can advance our projects and bring the greater community into the excitement of process and the art of collaboration.

Presentation of the short romantic opera “Floral Arrangements”on the Spanish Steps


On March 16, at 6:15 p.m., New Music -Theatre will present the pocket opera “Floral Arrangements” for one performance as a benefit for The Spanish Steps Foundation.

The Spanish Steps is a hidden gem at the edge of DC’s Kalorama neighborhood and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1911 as a terrace with a featured fountain, it solved the problem of an overly-steep, unnavigable ascent between Decatur Place and S Street, N.W. The neighborhood is the home of many embassies and fine homes as well as the base for the work of Alliance for New Music-Theatre.

As befits a springtime opera, the story incorporates flowers and poetry to tell the story of a fine romance.

Singers Sheri Jackson and John Boulanger will perform the roles of Muriel and Christopher in Alva Henderson’s little gem, and they will be accompanied by Andrew Earle Simpson.

Audience members should gather at the base of the steps on Decatur Place at 22 Street, N.W. for best viewing of the daffodils in bloom and to enjoy this charming work featuring singer-actors John Boulanger and Sheri Jackson and accompanist Andrew Earle Simpson. The performance is FREE but be prompt – the opera is only 5 minutes long. Blink and you’ll miss it!

More recently, we’ve learned that the site is believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad and an initial stop for those enslaved who crossed the Potomac on their way north. This makes it particularly special to us, linking to the work we do as partners with the African American Cemeteries and Black Georgetown Foundation. In 1982, the top of the Spanish Steps was dubbed Freedom Place.


The Afghan Women’s Project Continues with an Afghan Vocal Technique Workshop

with Humayun Khan and Open “Rehearsal”

On Tuesday, April 25 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm, New Music-Theatre begins its partnership with George Mason University with the first in a series of workshops featuring the arts of Afghan women. For many, practicing and preserving these art forms seem out of reach, certainly for women in Afghanistan who are forbidden to attend to school and many even to go out of their homes. New Music-Theatre wishes to support Afghan women and here, in the diaspora, to give a platform for their voices and stories to be celebrated and shared. This workshop is specifically designed as a cross-cultural experience for Afghan women and local female artists who wish to support and learn more about the traditional music of Afghanistan.

The first workshop will focus on singing, both theory and experiencing vocal techniques, along with learning about the form’s special scales and modalities.


The workshop will be led by Humayun Khan, gifted singer, musician and teacher. Participants will learn traditional folk melodies and also practice adapting key techniques to singing in English with the song, “The Pomegranates of Kandahar,” with words by Yalda Baktash and music by composer Dawn Avery, from our original production Women of Troy: Voices from Afghanistan.

This will be followed by an informal sharing for George Mason students and faculty, friends, family, and invited guests.

Later in the year, we will host workshops in poetry, calligraphy, fashion and costume design, and dance. All workshops will take place in the George Mason performing Arts Building. We invite Afghan women living in the DMV, who want to reconnect with their cultural roots to join us as we support keeping the music alive in this free workshop. Celebrate with us the resiliency and creative artistry of Afghan women as our company members stretch our individual professional capacities and understandings.

For more details to participate, go to our Afghan Project webpage HERE.  Or contact us at


Workshop for On the Road to Arivaca

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From May 1-5, we will conduct a weeklong intensive workshop of our Act II of On the Road to Arivaca in DC  which will be sponsored by the consortium of embassies of Central American and Caribbean embassies.

On the Road to Arivaca is an original opera by composer Rosino Serrano, based in Mexico City, and librettist Susan Galbraith. The opera will put the audience “on the road” in difficult situations that surround the many issues of immigration, national boundaries, and cross-cultural-and-linguistic engagement. How does one act when one has to decide in a split second on the fate of a fellow human being?

The workshop will feature Javier Arrey as The Samaritan, Israel Lozano as The Sojourner, Darcy Monsalve as Maria, and Melisa Bonetti as Consuelo, as well as Alliance’s youth chorus, coro de la comunidad. 


Join us on Friday afternoon, May 5 at the end of the workshop for an open rehearsal to experience the voices and Serrano’s beautiful music. More details are on our On the Road to Arivaca webpage HERE.


New Music-Theatre Proudly Announces The Composer-Librettist Studio June 3-18

This June our company joins in a special collaboration with Ben Krywosz and Nautilus Theatre Company to lead an intensive 18-day workshop for professional artists from the DMV to support, challenge, and enhance their ongoing development.  The Composer-Librettist Studio is an opportunity to be part of a transformative music-theatre experience, where artists learn and practice key principles of collaboration and elements of music-theatre making in this most collaborative of performance art forms. (Much of this is rarely taught even in music conservatories or university theatre programs.)

The Studio focuses on the process of collaboration through a series of brief exploratory assignments for the writers and composers. The exercises are then sight-read by the performers in brief working sessions. 


Five Composers, five Writers, and five Singer-Actors will be selected to participate, and all will receive stipends. All artists must commit to being present for all sessions, as partners and assignments shift every few days to maximize the learning-to-learn model to work in different combinations and approaching different genres. Close attention will be paid to ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion in the make-up of the group.

The University of the District of Columbia Music Program will host the Studio. On June 18, the artists will share their processes and a total of twenty-five pieces in an informal showcase for friends, family, UDC students and professors, and those seriously interested in music-theatre.

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The Composer-Libretto Studio has been offered as a unique and highly effective training model since 1984 in major cultural meccas across the country including NYC, Chicago, the Twin Cities, and L.A. The roster of composers and librettists who have participated includes some of the most exceptional artists working today across the spectrum of music-theatre.

For more details and to apply to participate as a composer or librettist, go to our Composer-Librettist Studio webpage.


What are our company Artists up to now?

Our very own Company member, Ronald "Trey" Walton III was the featured pianist at the concert - Living the Dream: Celebration of the March on Washington! on Sunday, Feb 19 at the Mt Zion United Methodist Church in Georgetown. He was joined by Ayanna Freelon, a classically trained soprano from Grenada, Mississippi.


The concert was organized by the DC Strings Workshop to honor the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, which promoted the civil and economic rights of African Americans, as part of the celebrations during Black History Month this month. DC Strings Workshop (DCSW), a non-profit, is a dynamic organization which hosts DC Strings Orchestra and the Messiah Chamber Orchestra, composed of musicians committed to bringing sophisticated concerts to diverse audiences in the District of Columbia (DMV) region.

“Trey” Walton has been performing and composing music since the age of twelve years old. Ronald is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and conductor whose works have been showcased on stages and in churches on the east coast and is currently the organist at Mt. Zion Church.


Our videographer, Patrick Hale received a prestigious fellowship and just completed a course on digital film masking. For New Music-Theatre, Patrick has filmed our Shrot Gems series in 2020 and more recently has filmed four interviews for our project in development - Afghan Women's Portraits- In Their Own Voices

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