What Belongs To You: Creative Team Panel Discussion

September 27, 2024, 7:00 PM
Alice Jepson Theatre

Free - This public engagement event is Free. No tickets are required. 

Creative Team - Mark Morris, Karim Sulayman, David T. Little, Alan Pierson, and Garth Greenwell - join us for a panel discussion and Q&A about the process of creating What Belongs to You. The performances on September 26th and 28th offer the world premiere of opera, and this work is a Modlin commission.

Based on Garth Greenwell's stunning debut novel, the opera “tells the story of a man caught between longing and resentment, unable to separate desire from danger, and faced with the impossibility of understanding those he most longs to know.”

"The story is specific and personal, but the experience Greenwell describes is universal: the search for self and the desire to belong amidst loneliness and enduring heartbreak. It is no wonder I was drawn to adapt it as an opera: these themes have also haunted my own work over the years, alongside my interest in time, fate, and the sacred.

It allows the interior to become personal to each listener and, as Greenwell has said about his own work and its connection to St. Augustine “by turning inward one somehow arrives at a revelation, a truth that can be communicated to others.”

This is the very experience that moved me so tremendously when first reading What Belongs to You. It is
what drew me to it, made me cherish it and feel the sacred in it. It is what inspired me to give it a life in music and on stage. It is my hope that through this performance, the audience may also find something meaningful, and true." — David T. Little

Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman sings the singular vocal role in the opera. Sulayman has garnered international attention as a sophisticated and versatile artist, consistently praised for his sensitive and intelligent musicianship, riveting stage presence, and beautiful voice. A 2019 GRAMMY® Award winner, he regularly performs on the world’s stages in orchestral concerts and opera, as well as in recital and chamber music.

Alan Pierson is the Artistic Director and conductor of Alarm Will Sound, “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene” (The New York Times). Pierson has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times, "a young conductor of monstrous skill" by Newsday, "gifted and electrifying" by the Boston Globe, and "one of the most exciting figures in new music today" by Fanfare

A natural musical storyteller with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times), composer David T. Little (composer/librettist) is known for stage, concert, and screen works permeated with the power of the unexpected. Little’s broad catalog speaks to the mix of light and dark that we experience in life, unafraid to invoke the mythical, bewitching, disturbing, surreal, or comedic. 

Director and choreographer Mark Morris, who has been praised as “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical” (The New York Times). In addition to creating over 150 works for the Mark Morris Dance Group, he conducts orchestras, directs opera, and choreographs for ballet companies worldwide.

Garth Greenwell is the author of the novel What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including thePEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Spotlight on "What Belongs to You" by David T. Little

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