I think the idea that new opera is going to be only a case of the prestigious world premiere or is this delicate scary thing that needs to be handled with tongs, I think both of those prejudices are dying away very slowly. We lost 100 years of thinking about this to the extent that once we started to stabilize the repertory thinking, particularly in this country around the '20s, then between that and certain strains in the contemporary music thinking that essentially said you could either advance public taste or you could engage audience attention, but you could not do both at the same time, which is really dumb but really prestigious for a long time, and so we lost a couple of generations of potential opera composers because that cord had been broken. But, if you're only going to talk about American opera, you're going to be talking about a 20th-century phenomenon exclusively. So we came into the party right as it was breaking up. There are any number of ways if you are depressively inclined to just sit back with a bottle of vodka and say, my god, it's a lost cause. But I'm not depressively inclined, and I happen to think that there are any number of equally compelling reasons to say that it could be a golden age. But it does mean that even our conventional thinking isn't going to serve us anymore, "our" meaning composers. That we've all got to look around and see what the potentials are and that means not throwing out any baby with any bath water. Not to throw out any particular musical element, you know, being tonal or non-tonal or acoustic or pop-derived or modernist or name it, not to look at any of it and say, well I'm not going to do this or engage the challenge of it because I don't like its politics. We've all got to come up with a new politics that does not owe to the politics of the past because they have imploded.
It's a strange thing that three of the best opera composers of the moment are Adamo, Adams, and Adès.