DOG DAYS

CREATIVE TEAM

composed by DAVID T. LITTLE | libretto by ROYCE VAVREK
based on the short story “Dog Days” by JUDY BUDNITZ
directed by ROBERT WOODRUFF| music direction by ALAN PIERSON


commissioned by PEAK PERFORMANCES @ Montclair State University (NJ)
world-premiere production originally produced by PEAK PERFORMANCES @ Montclair State University (NJ)

in association with BETH MORRISON PROJECTS| tour produced by BETH MORRISON PROJECTS

2015 TOUR

JUNE 11-16 2015 (LA OPERA - OFF GRAND)

REDCAT (LOS ANGELES)

 

NYC PREMIERE

JANUARY 9-11 2016 (PROTOTYPE 2016)

SKIRBALL CENTER (NEW YORK)

 

ABOUT

How do you deal with your world, when madness becomes the behavioral norm?

Based on a short story by Judy Budnitz, Dog Days is a contemporary opera from celebrated composer/librettist team David T. Little & Royce Vavrek that investigates the psychology of a working class American family against a not-so-distant-future wartime scenario. It asks: is it madness, delusion, or human / animal instinct that guides us through severely trying times? Where exactly is the line between animal and human? At what point must we give in to our animal instincts merely to survive?

Told predominantly from the perspective of Lisa, a thirteen-year-old girl, we watch as the world slowly falls apart around her. We watch her family progressively starve, her mother give up on life, and her father struggle to fulfill his own myth of the provider. We see her brothers flee the stasis of their lives through more and more regular recreational drug use, for which they ultimately give everything for the illusion of escape.

Then we meet Prince, a man in a dog suit, begging for food. Is he mad, or the only one who can still see clearly? No one can be sure. They say that you can tell a lot about a culture by the way it treats its animals. It also bears to reason that you can tell a lot about a person by how long they can remain truly human during traumatic times.

Dog Days was premiered on September 29, 2012 in the Kasser Theater in Montclair, New Jersey, directed by Robert Woodruff and conducted by Alan Pierson. It is dedicated to Beth Morrison.

PHOTO

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Photos by James Daniel 

PRESS

“IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THIS RIVETING SHOW IS CONFIRMED AS A GROUNDBREAKING AMERICAN CLASSIC.”

-The New York Times

 

“POWERFUL AND UNSETTLING”

-The New Yorker

 

“A TAUT, NUANCED WORK THAT CLAWED BENEATH THE SURFACE OF EVERY SITUATION… ITS POETRY IS INDELIBLE AND AFFECTING.”

-The New York Times

 

“IT IS DIFFICULT TO THINK OF ANYTHING WITH THAT KIND OF POWER AND ORIGINALITY ON ANY OTHER OPERA STAGE IN THE AREA.”

-The Star Ledger

 

“DIRECTOR ROBERT WOODRUFF FIERCELY CAPTURES THE OPERA’S INTERSECTION OF THE ORDINARY AND THE GROTESQUE.”

-The Wall Street Journal

 

“CREDIT IS DUE TO BETH MORRISON PROJECTS, WHICH FOSTERED THE OPERA TO FRUITION… WHY DO PROVOCATIVE OPERAS LIKE DOG DAYS RARELY REACH NEW YORK.”

-The New York Times

 

“DAVID T. LITTLE AND ROYCE VAVREK, ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING COMPOSER-LIBRETTIST TEAMS WORKING IN OPERA TODAY.”

-The Wall Street Journal

VIDEO