In August 2011, the Philadelphia Inquirer praised Opera Philadelphia's then-current transformation for creating a "haven for new opera." The shift in strategy was the result, in part, of a 2010 grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, specifically designed to add an "interdepartmental research and development" process to Opera Philadelphia's program planning with an eye towards the strategic goal of becoming known internationally as a source of cutting-edge work.
The article also described the opera's collaboration with 1999 Pew Fellow and composer Jennifer Higdon. Opera Philadelphia "resurrected" Higdon's contemporary work-in-progress, Cold Mountain, after its development was halted at the San Francisco Opera. David Patrick Stearns wrote: "In roughly five years, the company has morphed from a conservative, standard-repertoire-based organization to a haven for new opera with a speed that astounds even those who made it happen." Read more >