Amherst Professor Debuts New Opera During Free Workshop Performance

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Daniel Kamalić as “Scarlet Professor” Newton Arvin (left), Paul LaRosa as Ned Spofford (middle) and Sarah Pelletier as Helen Bacon (right), accompanied by Professor Eric Sawyer on piano

In 1960, nationally renowned literary critic and Smith College professor Newton Arvin was arrested and tried for possessing homosexual pornography. On Sunday, June 7, his story came to the Buckley Recital Hall stage in The Scarlet Professor, a new opera by composer Eric Sawyer, professor of music at Amherst, and librettist Harley Erdman, a theater professor at UMass Amherst.

Opera by Professors and Alumni Makes International Debut at Italian Film Festival

Submitted on Tuesday, 11/4/2014, at 12:00 PM

On a big screen in Milan last month, in front of an audience that totaled more than 18,000 people over the course of four days, an innovative Amherst chamber opera set to film made its international debut during the city’s Design Film Festival.

9/20 7:30 pm. , 9/22 3 pm. Garden of Martyrs

See the Amherst College Press Release on the production. An excerpt: "The opera shows the last three days of the Daley/Halligan case through the eyes of Father Jean Cheverus, a prominent priest based in Boston whose own haunted past—as a refugee from the French Revolution—led him to aid the accused."

Booking information from the Academy of Music webpage:

Show Date/ Time:
Friday, September 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM &
Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Local History, and an Unjust Execution, Take Center Stage in Professor’s New Opera

Submitted on Monday, 9/23/2013, at 10:31 AM

In Northampton, Mass., in 1806, two Irish immigrants, Dominic Daley and James Halligan, were hanged in front of 15,000 cheering spectators for a murder they did not commit. This September, Northampton’s Academy of Music staged world-premiere performances of The Garden of Martyrs, a new opera that dramatized this miscarriage of justice. The opera featured music by Amherst College’s Associate Professor Eric Sawyer and libretto by UMass Professor Harley Erdman.

“To Hear a Sound is to See a Space”: Professors and Alumni Collaborate to Build ARCHITECT Opera

Submitted on Tuesday, 11/22/2011, at 11:40 AM

November 15, 2011

During her time studying at Yale in the 1980s, Professor of Music Jenny Kallick was struck by what she calls the “sacred essence” of two of the New Haven school’s buildings, the Art Gallery and the Center for British Art. That she was drawn to those two particular facilities was no coincidence: both were designed by award-winning architect Louis I. Kahn, a major figure in 20th-century architecture.

Pop-Star Tragedy

By Emily Gold Boutilier

The Awakening

A Dream Come True

[Opera] Lewis Spratlan, an emeritus professor of music, and James Maraniss, a Spanish professor, wrote an opera (Spratlan the music, Maraniss the libretto) in the late 1970s while living in adjacent apartments. Life is a Dream, based on the 17th-century Spanish play La vida es sueno, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music (for Act II, concert version) but has never been performed in full. Until now. The opera will premiere this summer at the Santa Fe Opera,

The Forgotten Composer


Sosatokeut Lesterenn !!!

Hi, My name is Lester Hu; in fact, my legal first name is Zhuqing, a Chinese word from a 7-century poem which means "a lonely island surrounded by clear water in a lake." Lester is a name that I have randomly picked up as my English name when I was 12 I guess.