Rachel J. Peters

Composer/librettist Rachel J. Peters (she/her) writes all manner of works for the stage, primarily operas that sound like musicals and musicals that sound like operas.  Her operas include Companionship (Fort Worth Opera), The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Royce Vavrek (Oberlin Conservatory), Rootabaga Country (Sarasota Opera), No Ladies in the Lady’s Book (Utah Opera), Staggerwing (Opera Kansas), and Men I’m Not Married To (Cleveland Opera Theater) with Lisa DeSpain, Everything Comes to a Head with Margi Preus and Jean Sramek (Lyric Opera of the North/Decameron Opera Coalition), Steve (Boston Opera Collaborative), and Pie, Pith, and Palette with Marvin J. Carlton (The Atlanta Opera). Musicals include Only Children with Michael R. Jackson (NYU Tisch, Lincoln Center Directors Lab), Tiny Feats of Cowardice with Susan Bernfield (NYC Fringe Festival), Write Left with John Walch (Playwrights Horizons Theatre School), Tomato Red (UC Irvine), and Octopus Heart (NYU Steinhardt). Scores for plays include the critically acclaimed Stretch (a fantasia) (New Georges) and Tania in the Getaway Van (Flea Theater) by Susan Bernfield, Transatlantic by John Walch (Arkansas Rep), and The Bacchae (Asolo Rep Conservatory). Her concert mini-monodrama, Ethel Smyth Plays Golf in Limbo, was performed at Semperoper Dresden and continues to enjoy performances all over the US. Other concert works include If You Can Prove That I Should Set You Free (Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire), Jack’s Vocabulary (Hartt SPASM), I Live Here (Galapagos Art Space), Canon I (Two Sides Sounding), And Then (BayPath College), and Fronds: The Wisdom of Fanny Fern (Walt Whitman Project). Rachel’s extensive catalogue of art songs and cabaret songs has been performed at Lincoln Center, Second Stage, National Opera Center, Symphony Space, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, and cabarets and theatres nationwide. She is a contributor to the new generation of The AIDS Quilt Songbook as well as Michael R. Jackson’s Dirty Laundry and Zachary James’s CALL OUT albums. Premieres of new works in all of these categories are imminent.

Rachel has held residencies as composer and/or librettist at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Yaddo, Brush Creek Arts, and Soaring Gardens Artists Retreat. Rachel has received Anna Sosenko Assist Trust and multiple ASCAPlus awards; OPERA America awarded Female Composers Grants to Sarasota Opera for Rootabaga Country and to composer collaborator Leanna Kirchoff for their opera Friday After Friday. Rachel is a proud alumna of New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice, and a frequent fellow at the John Duffy Institute for New Opera. 

Rachel originally hails from St. Louis and currently lives in Brooklyn, a borough with an exceptionally high concentration of opera composers. Racheljpeters.com.

Stay Connected

Get notified of upcoming shows and dates by joining our mailing list.