AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company), founded in 2017 by Matthew Aucoin and Zack Winokur, builds and shares a body of collaborative work. As a group of dancers, singers, musicians, writers, directors, composers, choreographers, and producers united by a core set of values, AMOC* artists pool their resources to create new pathways that connect creators and audiences in surprising and visceral ways.
Our 2023/24 season proposes a dialogue between neglected histories and uncertain futures, from colonial legacies to today’s climate crisis. With two significant world premieres, a US-tour launch, a new work in Paris, and our continued commitment to developing multidisciplinary works, this season showcases groundbreaking American artistry on an international scale. In December 2023, we celebrated Latin American poets and the voices of women with John Adams’ El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered, a chamber-music arrangement written specifically for AMOC*. El Niño toured to Opera Omaha, Stanford University, and Yale University before returning to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for a second year. Spring 2024 also marks the world premiere of two AMOC* commissions: Music for New Bodies, composed by AMOC* Co-Founder Matthew Aucoin, is a staged song cycle based on recent poems by Jorie Graham. This new work, co-created with director Peter Sellars, explores humankind’s impact on the planet and the presence of immense cycles beyond our control. The work premieres as a co-commission with DaCamara of Houston and Rice University on April 20th at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. In June, Comet/Poppea, a co-production with Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cath Brittan, and The Industry debuts at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. Conceived and directed by Yuval Sharon and composed by George Lewis, with a libretto by Douglas Kearney, Comet/Poppea juxtaposes W.E.B. DuBois’ short story The Comet with Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea—framing both a rebuke of opera and a celebration of the form’s radical potential.
Simultaneously, AMOC* continues developing new works, including a multidisciplinary triptych by artistic duo Gerard & Kelly combining music, dance, and film that focuses on Julius Eastman’s life and legacy – in partnership with Los Angeles-based music collective, Wild Up. The first part of this triptych, Gay Guerrilla, premiered in July at the Centre Pompidou (Paris) in partnership with the Opéra national de Paris, & Compagnie, AMOC*, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with the support of enoa and the Creative Europe program of the European Union.
NEW WORK: We focus on the creation of new work. When we do engage with a canon of existing works, we ensure that we are adding new dimensions and perspectives to it.
POWER IN THE COLLECTIVE: We value the artistic agency and individual contributions of every company member, and we create work that is explicitly made possibly by the multi-disciplinary perspectives and accumulated learning we have fostered as a company. When a given project requires a hierarchical structure, we examine that structure and make sure it is being deployed appropriately for the project at hand.
FELLOWSHIP: We invest in holistic engagement and deep relationships among our artists. Our process promotes distributed authorship and varied forms of engagement across all artists and disciplines.
PARTNERSHIP: We recognize the limits of our knowledge, and because of this, we value relationships and collaborations with artists and other partners outside the company. When we engage with outside partners, we respect their contributions and welcome them fully into the creative process.
APPROACH TO AUDIENCE: We believe that the context in which an audience experiences a work is as important as the work’s content, and so we strive to create pathways to entry for our work.
SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS: We ask what the intended outcome is of each work that we create as a company. We come to a consensus that the work at hand does not harm, and that it communicates clearly.
SUSTAINABILITY: We are a company that is generative and re-generative in its core values, creative process, and membership, and that strives to nurture, create, document, and reflect on a body of work.