Over 38 Years of Excellence



Encompass New Opera Theatre is dedicated to the creation, development and production of adventurous new music theatre and contemporary opera, as well as the revival of important musical works by American and international composers. In the vanguard of companies devoted to widening the recognition of America's outstanding composers, dramatists, singers and musicians, Encompass has, since its inception in 1975, produced over 60 full-scale productions with orchestra and staged readings of over 160 new works from jazz and cabaret to musicals and opera.

Company productions represent a vast tapestry of American voices and genres, garnering a reputation for creative process, quality performances and artistic passion. Encompass plays a vital role in the cultural landscape.

Creating an Arts Incubator - Workshops and Training, Discovering New Talent

Workshops and training for composers-librettists and singers; New Composer Salons and presentations; concerts featuring young singing talent and the new music of new composers; special training opportunities for the development of singing talent; and international singing competitions supported by Encompass are ongoing and support the artistic life of the company.

Encompass also discovers talented composers at an early stage of their development and nurtures, supports and produces their work. Composers Michael John LaChiusa, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel are all winners of the Stephen Sondheim Award and major composers on Broadway, Lincoln Center and regional opera. Encompass produced their early creative work, along with a host of composers whose works are produced in venues throughout the USA and abroad. We have a long list of hundreds of singers, designers, and other artists who perform on Broadway, major opera houses in the USA and Europe who had their start with Encompass.

Keeping 20th and 21st Century American Opera Alive with Fresh, New Productions

Many of the famous American composers amazingly enough have had some of their important opera works overlooked, neglected or minimally produced. Encompass has a long track record of bringing to light many of these operas and we continue to this day to discover and produce the treasure trove of America's master composers-writers with fresh, exciting productions. Composers such as Aaron Copland, Marc Blitzstein, Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, Dominick Argento, Douglas Moore, Philip Glass, George Antheil, John Adams - to name only a few - all have major works which have been neglected and under-performed, but these works are outstanding and worthy for an audience of today.

Nurturing American Singers from Diverse Backgrounds

Encompass believes strongly in presenting the beautiful vast tapestry of people which the United States represents and has an impressive track record in multicultural and non-traditional casting.

Creating and Producing Cross-Cultural and International Music Theatre Productions

The Holland Festival in Amsterdam, touring 4 cities in the Netherlands, producing the first ever American musical in Albania, and performing at a major festival in Munich. Encompass Artistic Director Nancy Rhodes has directed major international productions of American musicals and opera in Finland; Norway; Sweden; Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey; Tirana, Albania; and Holland. She has also been a workshop leader and panelist speaker in Argentina, Czech Republic, Cuba, Estonia, Germany, Holland, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Russia, and Venezuela.

Commissioning New Works

Encompass commissions new operas from the idea to the world premiere. Most recently Encompass commissioned The Theory of Everything, a new opera inspired by physics' super-string theory of multiple dimensions and alternate universes with fund from Opera America, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Developing New Audiences for Music Theatre and Opera


Read about Encompass' rich history here.

The Diary of Anne Frank The Diary of Anne FrankThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has generously awarded Encompass New Opera Theatre a coveted Access to Artistic Excellence grant for The Theory of Everything.

Encompass New Opera Theatre’s productions and activities are made possible with public funds from The New York State Council on the Arts (a state agency) and with funding support from: the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; OPERA America’s Opera Fund (launched by the National Endowment for the Arts, and funded by the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Canada Council on the Arts, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, and the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation); Meet the Composer’s JP Morgan Chase Regrant Program for Small Ensembles; the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust’s 2003 Program for Contemporary Music Projects (administered by Concert Artists Guild); the JP Morgan Chase Regrant Fund for Theatres (administered by A.R.T./New York); the Judith S. Randal Foundation; the Cornelius N. Bliss Memorial Fund; The Dramatists Guild Fund; the Edith Meiser Foundation; the Virgil Thomson Foundation; The Word Works; US Trust Company of New York; the Charles Schwab Foundation Matching Gifts Program; League of American Theatres and Producers Matching Gifts Fund; Altria Matching Gifts Program; and our Generous Patrons.