Bogliasco Fellowship

Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien will develop Glass and Steel, a new opera about celebrated architect Ieoh Ming Pei and his epic struggle to realize the Louvre Museum's pyramid. The opera will utilize text overlap and everyday objects in its wide-ranging sound profile to express both Pei’s interior journey as well as the public’s emotional journey, as each strove to overcome the forces of nationalism, xenophobia, unchallenged tradition, and resistance to change.


This workshop was supported in part by New Dramatists’ Jerry A. Tishman Creativity Fund.

Melisa Tien
Artist Bio

Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, librettist, and producer. A New Dramatists resident writer, she is co-author of the operas Song of the Nightingale (On Site Opera, 2023), The Beehive (University of Northern Iowa, 2023), and The Big Swim (Asia Society Texas Center/Houston Grand Opera, 2024); co-author of the music-theater works Swell (HERE, 2021), Daylight Saving, and Mary; author of the plays Best Life (JACK, 2022), Yellow Card Red Card (Ice Factory, 2017), The Boyd Show, and Familium Vulgare; co-creator of the podcast/auditory experience Active Listening; and creator of the ongoing theatrical experiences Untitled Landscape and Community Forest.

She has been published in the anthology Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater (Tripwire Harlot Press, 2020) and the anthology Modern Music for New Singers: 21st Century American Art Songs (2021), and has authored essays for New Music USA and Innovations in Socially Distant Performance. Tien was a member of Experiments in Opera’s 2022 Writers’ Room, The Assembly Theater Project’s 2021 Deceleration Lab, a recipient of a 2020-2021 grant from the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre, and a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting. BA, UCLA; MFA, Columbia University. More at

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