William & Mary

Claudia Stevens

Visiting Scholar


Claudia Stevens continues in her appointment as Visiting Scholar in Music. She has received many honors and artist residencies, first as a composers' pianist and subsequently as a multidisciplinary performer and playwright. These include twelve grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts to create and present her original works on tour. Several of her plays and her libretto for the comic chamber opera, "A Very Large Mole" appear in the avant-garde literary journal Exquisite Corpse. With degrees in music from Vassar College, UC, Berkeley, and the DMA from Boston University, she was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Piano at William & Mary until 2005.

Now based in the Bay Area, Claudia is a contributing director of Sonic Harvest, a new music series in Berkeley, California. Her recent works created for Sonic Harvest include "Pitch" and "Red Currants, Black Currants" (2013). She received a Creative Connections grant from New Music USA for her works presented by Sonic Harvest in 2012 and shared a 2014 New Music USA grant with composer Allen Shearer toward production of their new chamber opera, "Middlemarch in Spring."

Claudia is the librettist of four chamber operas in collaboration with Shearer. In August 2014, their one-act opera "The Dawn Makers" was chosen by the National Opera Association as one of three finalists in the Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition for presentation at UNC, Greensborough in January 2015. "Middlemarch in Spring," a full-length opera in two acts, adapted by Claudia from George Eliot's great novel Middlemarch, is their most recent collaboration. Its premiere took place at Z Space in San Francisco on March 19-22, 2015, produced by Composers, Inc. and conducted by Jonathan Khuner of San Francisco, Chicago Lyric and Metropolitan operas. 

Five glowing reviews of Middlemarch in Spring, shown here, have appeared in Bay Area media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner: http://middlemarchinspring.com/

This interview with Claudia, about her career and work as librettist, by musical journalist Erica Miner, has just appeared in Broadway World. It also appears on the "LA Opus" website (Los Angeles). The British journal, The George Eliot Review, and the British magazine Opera, also have forthcoming reviews of Middlemarch in Spring