Livestream Composer Chat with Opera Composer Lisa DeSpain

Presented by the Florence J. Gillmor School of Music and Utah Opera


Livestream on YouTube on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 11:00am MST

Lisa DeSpain is a Utah-native, New York City based composer of musical theatre, opera, and concert works known for her American sound.

Lisa has received commissions from a wide range of ensembles, and is a force in the musical theatre education world: she is the go-to arranger for Broadway educational choral works including HAMILTON, ONCE, AMERICAN IDIOT, NEXT TO NORMAL.

Lisa was the first jazz composer awarded a Copland House Residency, and is the recipient of a 2018 Discovery Grant from OPERA America in support of her opera THAT HELL-BOUND TRAIN. Ms. DeSpain strives to explore and expand the boundaries of the American musical language, to create artistic works uniquely identifiable as American. She served as composer for the original music STORYVILLE, and for the short opera NO LADIES IN THE LADY’S BOOK for Utah Opera’s Golden Spike celebration. Lisa, along with librettist Rachel Peters, recently won a commission from Opera Kansas for the STAGGERWING, which will depict early women in aviation and their competition in a national cross-country competition.

She is a Professor of Music & Theatre at LaGuardia Community College – CUNY (City University of New York).