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Detailed Project Description

Aria Composition Contest Information

Women of Power and Prestige

OperaHub's Women Wednesdays post series #ohwomenwednesdays

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TRUNK SHOW!  Aria Contest


A Fashionable Fantasia of Women on the World Stage

Aria Subject Suggestion

We have received several questions from composers about what sorts of characters we are looking for in this contest.  We do not wish to prescribe a list of characters, but in the interest of clarifying what we mean by "contemporary," "power," and "prestige" and also in the interest of potentially expanding composers' and librettists' awareness of the extraordinary stories of women available to them, we provide this decidedly non-comprehensive list of suggestions of people who might serve as appropriate models. 

The names listed below are ones we feel would be strong candidates; contestants need not feel confined to our list, nor do characters need to be specific real-life people – they could be entirely fictional.  We would prefer they be prominent for something other or more than being exclusively performing entertainers.




Hillary Clinton

Angela Merkel

Margaret Thatcher

Christina Kirschner

Condoleeza Rice

Janet Yellen

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Sonia Sotomayor

Elena Kagen

Sandra Day O’Connor

Nancy Pelosi

Madeleine Albright

Queen Elizabeth II

Yingluck Shinawatra

Priyanka Gandhi

Indira Gandhi

Christiana Figueres

Jaha Dukureh

Theresa May

Park Geun-hye

Tsai Ing-wen

Loretta Lynch

Samantha Power

Elvira Nabiullina

Dalia Grybauskaite

Mary Jo White

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Irina Bokova

Angie Brooks

Christine Lagarde



Marissa Mayer

Meg Whitman

Sheryl Sandberg

Indra Nooyi

Irene Rosenfeld

Virgina Rometty

Ursula Burns

Maria das Gracas Silva Foster

Anne Sweeney

Angela Braly

Arianna Huffington

Susan Wojcicki

Diana Von Furstenberg

Amy Pascal

Mary Barra

Laura Lang

Sue Naegle

Safra Catz

Guo Pei

Arundhati Bhattacharya

Ho Ching (also government)

Lucy Peng

Gina Rinehart

Phebe Novakovic (also government)

Rosalind Brewer

Mary Callahan Erdoes

Zhou Qunfei

Lubna S. Olayan

Gwynne Shotwell

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (also science)

Folorunsho Alakija

Judy Faulkner

Sara Blakely

Raja Easa Al Gurg



Fabiola Gianotti

Elizabeth Blackburn

Mildred Dresselhaus

Melissa Franklin

Elizabeth Gould

Flossie Wong-Staal

Adriana C. Ocampo Uria

Lynn Margulis

Shirley Ann Jackson

Marie Curie

Laura Esserman & Shelley Hwang

Mona Hanna-Attisha

Hope Jahren

Sunita Narain

Kathy Niakan




Drew Faust

Ruth Simmons

Diana Natalicio



General Lori Robinson



Gretchen Carlson

Barbra Walters

Tina Fey

Oprah Winfrey



Potential roles that have not yet been filled by a woman:

The Head of NASA

President of Goldman Saks          

The President of the United States

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