Dog Days by David T. Little is an ambitious undertaking by a composer whose powerful narrative comes to life through the production genius of Beth Morrison.
Based on a short story by Judy Budnitz, Dog Days is a contemporary opera that investigates the psychology of a working class American family against a not-so-distant-future wartime scenario. A collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek, this black comedy asks: is it madness, delusion, or human / animal instinct that guides us through severely trying times? Where exactly is the line between animal and human? At what point must we give in to our animal instincts merely to survive? Scenes from Dog Days was commissioned by Carnegie Hall through The Weill Music Institute, and an expanded version was featured in New York City Opera’s 2010 VOX program. The work, developed with director Robert Woodruff, and commissioned by Peak Performances in Montclair, NJ in association with Beth Morrison Projects, is set for a September 2012 premiere.
Every breath of this work is alive and filled by a deeply imbued sense of desperation held together by Little’s thematic narrative line which fills the air with a dense fog of both desperation and enlightenment. Profiled by rhythmic drive and melodic power, in the end, its realizations are shocking! Performed by an expanded version of his ensemble NEWSPEAK with singers of extraordinary talent, the players, the vocalists and the audience are kept on-edge by a sense of expectation and brooding fear as to what may come next. Allan Pierson conducts this with exacting brilliance as every beat is filled with his realization of the work’s exactitude. David T Little scores!