The Best of 2013, Amherst Edition

January 2, 2014

Now that 2014 is upon us, the members of the college’s Public Affairs staff decided to take a page from many newspapers, magazines and websites and look back at the year that was at Amherst. Here are some of our favorite stories from 2013.

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.

Examining history through a modern lens

Professor Eric Sawyer engages Northampton's past with opera, community

Daley and Halligan

You’d be hard pressed to find an artistic production as richly embedded in local community as Associate Professor of Music and composer Eric Sawyer’s opera, The Garden of Martyrs.

Second Act of Music Professor’s Opera Receives Rave Reviews

June 15, 2011

By Rebecca Ojserkis ’12

“Magic!” one audience member exclaimed after the second act of The Garden of Martyrs. Such a response was a characteristic review of the June 12 performance, a workshop of a new opera composed by Eric Sawyer, associate professor of music. (The same act will also be performed on Friday, June 17, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Robyn Newhouse Hall in the Community Music School of Springfield, 127 State Street, Springfield.)