The New York Times annual roundup of the best classical music of the year includes the New York premiere of Proving Up, the chamber opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek that opened Miller's 30th Anniversary Season. Proving Up was co-commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha, and Miller Theatre at Columbia University and was the first opera in Miller's new Chamber Opera Commissioning Initiative.
Noted under "Best Performances," critic Zachary Woolfe writes about Proving Up:
"Brooding on the impossibility of the American dream, Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s tense, creepy new opera, which came to the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in September, shows the fracturing of a homestead family suffering on the brutal Nebraska plains. The setting is the middle of the 19th century, but the lessons — about prosperity, virility, patriotism and cycles of violence — are crushingly contemporary. And Ms. Mazzoli’s score, for just a dozen or so players, is a landscape of shimmering aridity."
Another critic pick for 2018 is Kate Soper's Composer Portrait, which presented her theatrical chamber music masterpiece Ipsa Dixit. Critic Seth Colter Walls shines a spotlight on Soper, who is a member of the Wet Ink Ensemble, which was chosen as "The Best Ensemble" for the year:
"Then there is the best-known composer in the ensemble, the soprano Kate Soper, whose charming and invigorating opera-slash-humanities lecture “Ipsa Dixit” arrived at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University this fall.