About David T. Little, Composer
David T. Little is “one of the most imaginative young composers” on the scene, a “young radical” (The New Yorker), with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times). His operas JFK (Royce Vavrek, librettist; Fort Worth Opera / Opéra de Montréal / American Lyric Theater), Dog Days (Royce Vavrek, librettist; Peak Performances / Beth Morrison Projects), and Soldier Songs (Prototype Festival) have been widely acclaimed, “prov[ing] beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future” (The New York Times).
Recent works include The Conjured Life (Cabrillo Festival Orchestra / Cristian Măcelaru), Ghostlight—ritual for six players (eighth blackbird / The Kennedy Center), AGENCY (Kronos Quartet), dress in magic amulets, dark, from My feet (The Crossing / ICE), CHARM (Baltimore Symphony / Marin Alsop), Hellhound (Maya Beiser), Haunt of Last Nightfall (Third Coast Percussion). Little is currently working on a new opera commissioned by the MET Opera / Lincoln Center Theater new works program with Royce Vavrek, and the music-theatre work Artaud in the Black Lodge with Outrider legend Anne Waldman (Beth Morrison Projects). His music has been heard at LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, Holland Festival, the Bang On A Can Marathon, BAM Next Wave and elsewhere. Educated at University of Michigan and Princeton, Little is co-founder of the annual New Music Bake Sale, has served as Executive Director of MATA, and serves on the Composition Faculty at Mannes-The New School. From 2014-2017, he served as Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam, Innova, and VIA Records labels. In fall 2016, VIA Records released the world-premiere recording of Dog Days, starring the original cast and Newspeak led by conductor Alan Pierson; the CD was listed as one of NPR’s Best Recordings of 2016. He received a 2017 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
David T. Little is published by Boosey & Hawkes. www.davidtlittle.com
About Royce Vavrek, Librettist
Royce Vavrek is a librettist and lyricist known as “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times) and “a favorite collaborator of the postclassical set” (Time Out New York). His writing has been called “sharp, crisp, witty” (See Magazine), “meticulous” (Operavore, WQXR Radio), “full-throated” (CulturePOP), “taut” (The New Yorker), “dramatically wild” and “exhilarating” (The New York Times). His collaboration with composer David T. Little has led Heidi Waleson of the Wall Street Journal to proclaim them “one of the most exciting composer-librettist teams working in opera today.” Their first full-length opera, “Dog Days,” received its world premiere in September of 2012 at Peak Performances @ Montclair, in a production co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and directed by legendary American maverick Robert Woodruff. Their first grand opera “JFK,” commissioned by Fort Worth Opera and American Lyric Theater, was premiered in April 2016. In 2014, Royce premiered “27,” his first collaboration with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Created for renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, the work brought to life Gertrude Stein’s famous salon at 27 rue de Fleurus that hosted the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in five swift acts. Royce is co-Artistic Director of The Coterie, an opera-theater company founded with Lauren Worsham. He holds a BFA in Filmmaking and Creative Writing from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal and an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at New York University. He is an alum of American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program. Visit roycevavrek.com.