David T. Little’s ‘What Belongs to You’ Set for September 2024 Premiere

By David Salazar

David T. Little’s “What Belongs to You” is set to premiere this September.

The opera for tenor and chamber orchestra will take the stage off the Modlin Center, Virginia on Sept. 26 and 28, 2024 for the Arts in a production directed by Mark Morris. Tenor Karim Sulayman stars as “The American” and Alan Pierson conducts.  The production was commissioned by Alarm Will Sound and the Modlin Center for the Arts in Richmond.

The opera is based on Garth Greenwell’s novel of the same name about an unnamed narrator who initiates a destructive affair. Per an official press release, Little sought inspiration from the works of Britten, Dowland, Monteverdi, and Schubert, among others in composing the work.

Greenwell studied opera in the 1990s at Eastman School of Music where he became friends with Sulayman and Pierson; during this time, Pierson became Greenwell’s accompanist. Meanwhile, Pierson was the Music Director for Little’s famed “Dog Days” in 2012 and introduced the composer to his college friend.

“It’s been such a thrill to bring together these artists, who connect to the deepest and most meaningful chapters of my own artistic and personal life,” Pierson said in an official press release. “And I couldn’t be more thrilled by the brilliant work that’s emerged from this collaboration.”

“This is the very experience that moved me so tremendously when first reading ‘What Belongs to You,’” Little added. “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.”