Raised in Rome, Italy, Lisa Scola Prosek has the rare fortune of having both European and American sensibilities in her music and her libretti. A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Music Composition, Ms. Scola Prosek studied under Edward Cone and Milton Babbitt, and privately with Lukas Foss in New York. She also studied singing with Margherita Kalil of the Metropolitan Opera, and composition with composer Gaetano Giani-Luporini in Florence, Italy where she attended the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini.
To date, Scola Prosek has composed 8 operas, with librettos in Italian and English, and was recently commissioned for two new operas: The first was premiered by Thick House Theater in August 2012, DAUGHTER OF THE RED TZAR, written for acclaimed tenor John Duykers, and based on Churchill’s midnight meeting with Stalin and his daughter Svetlana in the Kremlin, as narrated in Churchill’s The Hinge of Fate
. The second, THE LARIAT, based on Jaime De Angulo's novella, premiered in January 2015 at Thick House Theater, San Francisco
Excerpts of Scola Prosek's sixth opera, DIECI GIORNI (10 DAYS), premiered in September of 2010 at Thick House in San Francisco and was written as a collaborative production, based on Boccaccio’s Decameron.
In 2008, Lisa premiered TRAP DOOR, commissioned by The Lab, and made possible by the LEF Foundation. Based on Camus’ The Stranger, the opera told the tale of on one soldier’s experience in Iraq.
Rehearsing TRAP DOOR, 2008
Lisa Scola Prosek has been composing and producing opera and music for orchestra in San Francisco since 2001. Her first opera, SATYRICON, was reviewed by the San Francisco Observer in 2002 as a“Tour de Force” and featured on KRON TV. LEONARDO'S NOTEBOOKS 2006, in Italian, premiered to capacity audiences at Thick House, and was featured on NPR’s West Coast Live. The Contemporary Classical Music Weekly reviewed: "This composer’s work is steeped in the Mediterranean world of gestures, writ both big and small. Her vocal writing references bel canto and the madrigal, and the instrumental writing, with its shadowy inner voices, has character and point. Intricate and highly expressive music.” Sequenza 21.
BELFAGOR, in Italian,which premiered in 2007 at Thick House, is the comic tale of self-destructive materialism by Machiavelli, and was reviewed as “an impressive debut by … a gifted local composer” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
With the Schola Cantorum Choir, she premiered LIBERA ME, with orchestra, supported by the American Composers Forum’s Community Engagement Program.
Lisa Scola Prosek is the recipient of numerous commissions, grants and awards, including from the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, for Belfagor and Trap Door, and from the LEF Foundation, Meet The Composer, The Hewlett Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, and Theatre Bay Area.
Ms. Scola Prosek also serves as General Manager and pianist of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.