Lowell House Opera to World Premiere ‘NIGHTTOWN’

By Afton Wooten

Lowell House Opera is set to world premiere “NIGHTTOWN” at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater at Memorial Hall on March 10 -12 at 7:30 p.m.

This story focuses on chapters 15 and 18 of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” and pulls from the book’s roots in Homer’s “Odyssey.” Lowell House Opera’s Executive Producer and Stage Director says the work is a “contemporary opera that speaks to contemporary times in a way that is inclusive and immediate. ‘NIGHTTOWN’ is an accessible, moving story about collective grief, the changing nature of love, and the way in which our home shapes us in the world at large, themes that have only grown more potent over the course of the opera’s pandemic-era development. It is a remarkable work, especially for such a young composer/librettist, and Lowell House Opera is proud to share it with a wide audience this March.”

“NIGHTTOWN” has a creative team, orchestra, and cast made equally of Harvard University students and professionals. This work is the company’s first world premiere and first commission of an undergraduate composer. Both the music and libretto were written by Harvard University undergraduate student Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg. Wenzelberg will also conduct the fifteen-piece orchestra. Other roles Harvard students are contributing to “NIGHTTOWN” are in the positions of producers, lighting designer, costume designer, and sound designer. They work alongside Adrienne Boris, Music Director Edward Elwyn Jones, Musical Advisors Johnathan Dove and Michael Gandolfi, and other leading professionals in the field.

Student vocalists include Arhan Kumar, Sydney Penny, Gaurav Goel, and Alexander Chen. The professional singers featured in this opera are Caroline R. Olsen, David McFerrin, Erin Merceruio Nelson, Elijah McCormick, Leo Balkovetz, and Kathryn Tolley.

The runtime is 100 minutes and will be sung in English. There will also be a live stream for each performance.