Theo Popov

Composer/Thereminist

thinking

 

 

 

THEO POPOV is an LA-based composer of music for the theater stage and film screen whose five operas have received multiple productions and awards across the United States. In addition, he has written musicals, choral and orchestral pieces, art songs, chamber and electronic music. Popov is thrilled to be currently utilizing his experience in dramatic composition to help tell the real stories of foster kids in the documentary film Possible Selves

After a childhood spent singing Bulgarian folklore and Christian Orthodox songs, Popov began his formal compositional training by studying electronic music with Paul Lansky and musical geometry with Dmitri Tymoczko. Having explored various forms of sacred and folk traditions, he cultivated a special interest in Classical Antiquity, and has for the last decade worked on researching and incorporating it into his own oeuvre. His first opera, NERO ARTIFEX, received a full stage production at Princeton University to enthusiastic acclaim in March 2010. A three-act drama in Classical Latin with libretto by Mariah Min and Veronica Shi, the opera presented one of history’s most notorious emperors as a well meaning but incapable ruler, a gullible dreamer and unfortunate artist.

Since then, Popov has focused primarily on writing for the stage. In May 2012, his second opera Once Upon the Wind with libretto by Kate Light premiered within the framework of the Composer Librettist Development Program at the American Lyric Theater. The opera received a second production by The Secret Opera in 2014, after being selected as a winner in the company’s inaugural Composers Competition, and a third at Opera Theater of Yale College in 2021. Most recently, Theo received the Second Annual UMD Opera Composition Competition Award for his opera Town Hall, libretto by E. M. Lewis, which tackles challenging questions of American politics. He is also returning to the American Lyric Theater to develop the opera The Halloween Tree, based on a Ray Bradbury novella, with librettist Tony Asaro.

Popov completed his composition degree at Princeton University, where he studied with Steve Mackey, Barbara White and Paul Lansky. When he’s not composing, he can be found talking about wine and music pairings or playing the theremin.

Contact Theo at [email protected]