Roger Ames, Pulitzer Prize nominated composer and author, has written operas, musicals, and incidental music for Off-Broadway, London Fringe, and the Hartford Stage. He has had workshops at the Actors Studio, the O’Neill National Music Theater Center, and in Europe, and premieres in NYC, Minneapolis, The Paris Opera, Cologne, London, and at various universities. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, NO PARKING, and and ABRAHAM’S LAND, with Lauren Marshall, are his current projects awaiting production.
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY was chosen by Michael Mayer as winner of the Mainstreet Musical’s annual competition in 2015. His oratorio: REMEMBER WARSAW was a recent finalist in New York City Opera’s VOX competition, and was premiered in Minneapolis / St. Paul by the Nautilus Music-Theater and the Oratorio Society of Minnesota.
THE GREATEST GENERATION: An American Oratorio, with his collaborators, Elizabeth Bassine and Dan Kehde, was commissioned by the Oratorio Society of Minnesota, Matthew Mehaffey, conductor and artistic director. It is a story of WW2 heroism with a feminist lens, using both original words and music and music from the Great American Songbook. It was premiered in May of 2018 at the Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul – to a rousing standing ovation. Plans are unfolding to produce multiple performances across the country in May of 2020 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
His one act musical EN MIS PALABRAS has been touring the west for the past 6 years, produced by Central City Opera in Denver and was a recent winner of the Boston Metro Opera’s Americana Festival competition. He has won composition competitions ranging from the International Clarinet Society to The Children’s Aid Society in New York, and the Astoria Symphonic Chorus.
Other recent premieres include ANCIENT SONGS OF THE UNIVERSE, commissioned by the Long Island Masterworks Chorus, SHADOWS, for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids, and TAKE JOY, for the Strathmore Performing Arts Center, Washington.
His new musical, NO PARKING, written with Elizabeth Bassine, has recently won a Knight’s foundation grant in Minnesota, for development and production by the Nautilus Music Theater, Ben Krywosz, director. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY has done concert readings in multiple cities around the U.S.A.
He is resident artist at New Dramatists in New York, and Central City Opera, Denver, Colorado. As an author, he spends much of his time teaching teachers how to write music-theater pieces with their students.
(A textbook on that subject, “MUSIC! WORDS! OPERA! is available through GIA Publications, Chicago).
He has been recorded professionally by Thomas Hampson (EMI), Anam Cara (GIA recordings), The Oratorio Society of Minnesota, and Boston Chorus Pro Musica, Calvin Remsberg, and Georgine Resick, among others.
Ames studied composition with Samuel Barber, Carlysle Floyd, John Kander, and Robert Washburn, and orchestration with Jonathan Tunick.
He has published over 30 choral works, by GIA Publications and Hinshaw Music – the latter, now distributed through Fred Bock Music and Hal Leonard Publications.