Michael Kelly Stars in New Opera ‘The Pleasing Recollection’

By Afton Wooten

Martin Hennessy and Stephen Kitsakos’ new opera “The Pleasing Recollection” will make its New York debut with two performances at Feinstein’s/54Below on April 5 at 7 p.m. and April 6 at 9:30 p.m.

Kitsakos’s autobiographical story is set in the mid-1970s and follows a young man who arrives in Manhattan and begins to make his way into the performing arts scene. On his journey, he encounters some of the era’s musical and theater stars like Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Larry Kert, and Charles Ludlam.

Hennessy’s score knits together opera, musical theatre, and cabaret that is brought to life by baritone Michael Kelly and music director and pianist Bénédicte Jourdois. Murphy Davis serves as the director.

Kelly shares his excitement to perform in this opera by saying, “I’m so proud to have the opportunity to portray such a beautifully realized queer protagonist. It’s exciting to get to turn back the clock and revisit the gay culture of the 70s, an era that pulsed with gritty sexuality and endless possibilities.”

There will be two preview showings on April 1 and 2 at The Studios at Key West in Key West, FL. After the New York performances, the opera will set out on a national tour this summer.