Thompson Street Opera Company

Application Deadline

October 1, 2020

Application Fee



Call for Works!

About the Company

Thompson Street Opera Company was founded in 2011, based in a tiny studio apartment on Thompson Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The company name serves as a reminder of our origins, and highlights the company’s belief that incredible art can come from the humblest of places. 

From 2013 through 2016, we produced a summer festival of operas in Louisville, Kentucky each May and June. In 2016, we relocated to Chicago IL, and have since been successfully producing a regular season of works from September to April.

Our Mission

Thompson Street Opera Company reimagines what opera can be. Through performances of works exclusively by living composers, TSOC:

  • Empowers artists to be active collaborators in the creation of new works

  • Uses art to engage in social conversation

  • Brings new audiences to opera with intimate storytelling

We aim to not only involve performers in the creative process as artistic collaborators, but also to foster an intensely friendly work environment, where performers are supported emotionally as well as artistically. We provide housing for out-of-town artists at no cost, and serve free common meals whenever possible. As of 2014, we also offer small stipends and intend to continue growing the company to provide competitive wages to all artists.

Our uniqueness in the Chicago “storefront” scene comes not only from the specificity of our programming, but also from its content and prolificacy. By exclusively producing works by living composers, we are dedicated to showing the potential of the art form through the diverse voices of our time. Since our founding we have featured six works by female composers, four more with female librettists, and another five by composers under the age of 25. In addition, we are currently the only Chicago storefront company mounting three productions per year!

About the call

Chicago’s home for “stellar performances,” “tight, intricate, and polished” instrumental work, and “consistently solid interpretations” of new opera (Chicago Classical Review) is looking to fill yet another vibrant season. Thompson Street Opera Company exclusively produces the works of living composers, lovingly staged in intimate venues with exceptional performers. We are particularly interested in presenting works that engage with contemporary issues in nuanced and human ways, works by composers from underrepresented groups, and works that have been performed two or fewer times.

Composers may submit in either or both of two categories: Mainstage and Faulty Systems.

We are specifically looking for mainstage works that:
– have relatively small casts, preferably with no chorus
– use small instrumental ensembles (under 10 players) OR are conceived for piano
– are under 2 hours in length
– do not involve body mics or other amplification needs
– will come directly from the composer rather than through a publisher or agency

TSOC has enjoyed performing works of all genres, including comedies.
We welcome submissions of evening-length and one-act works on any theme.

In addition to Mainstage works, we also seek works under 25 minutes in length for inclusion on the winter “Faulty Systems” program, a multi-disciplinary event that brings together artists and activists, organized around a particular social justice theme. Works that highlight an issue of national or international importance will be strong contenders for this particular event. For this category, the smaller the number of personnel, the better.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: Fill out the linked document

Please follow the link to our Google form. In addition to basic information, you will need to attach the following:

  • Resume/CV
  • A PDF of the full score and/or piano vocal score – at least one is required
  • A recording of the work (midi is fine)- .mp3 upload or links are accepted If you are sharing a link, please ensure that the file is accessible until at least Dec. 31st.