JFK (premiered 2016)

Libretto by ROYCE VAVREK

JFK by composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek is a co-commission between Fort Worth Opera, American Lyric Theater, and Opéra de Montréal that premiered at FWOpera in the 2016 Festival Season. The work explores the final twelve hours of the 35th president’s life and time spent in Fort Worth, Texas. The opera marks the first joint project for the writing team following their critically acclaimed chamber opera Dog Days (2012).

"Sensitively written, beautifully intimate."
-The New York Times

"They have captured the national sorrow
and shock of that time."
-The Wall Street Journal

"A triumphant work."
-Opera News

"JFK is bizarre and captivating, filled with
gorgeous singing, acting and visuals."

-Theater Jones

JFK marks a poignant circle of mentorship between ALT and librettist Royce Vavrek, who joined the CLDP in 2007 as a member of the program’s first class of Resident Artists. Since completing the program, Vavrek has become one of the field’s most celebrated and in-demand librettists for the opera stage. ALT has been honored to co-commission and support him, as he embarked upon the largest-scale project of his career to date with frequent collaborator David T. Little.

World Premiere: April 23, 2016
Fort Worth Opera | Fort Worth, Texas

Upcoming: Opéra de Montréal
*Details to be announced*

Matthew Worth (John F. Kennedy)
Daniela Mack (Jacqueline Kennedy)
Talise Trevigne (Clara Harris)
Sean Panikkar (Henry Rathbone)
Daniel Okulitch (Lyndon B. Johnson)
Cree Carrico (Rosemary Kennedy)
Katharine Goeldner (Jacqueline Onassis)
Steven Osgood, conductor
Thaddeus Strassberger, director and scenic design
Mattie Ulrich, costume design
Chad Jung, lighting design

Pictures from the developmental workshops for JFK at American Lyric Theater.


Co-Commission: 2013

Libretto Workshop & Reading: November 2013
Public reading part of the The Living Libretto series

Piano/Vocal Workshops & Concert: November 2014
Public concerts part of the InsightALT series
Opera News - Review: JFK at Fort Worth Opera
Wall Street Journal - JFK Review: On the Eve of Assassination
The New York Times - Review: JFK Puts a Very Dark Day in an Operatic Light  
Theater Jones - Review: American Beauty

LICENSING: Performance licensing and materials rental for JFK are administered by Boosey & Hawkes.

DAVID T. LITTLE is “one of the most imaginative young composers” on the scene, a “young radical” (The New Yorker), with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times). His operas JFK (Fort Worth Opera/L’Opéra de Montréal/American Lyric Theater), Dog Days (Peak Performances/Beth Morrison Projects), and Soldier Songs (Prototype Festival) have been widely acclaimed, “prov(ing) beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future” (The New York Times). Recent/upcoming works include Ghostlight—ritual for six players (eighth blackbird/The Kennedy Center), AGENCY (Kronos Quartet), dress in magic amulets, dark, from My feet (The Crossing/ICE), CHARM (Baltimore Symphony/Marin Alsop), Hellhound (Maya Beiser), Haunt of Last Nightfall (Third Coast Percussion), a new opera commissioned by the MET Opera/Lincoln Center Theater new works program, and the music-theatre work Artaud in the Black Lodge with Outrider legend Anne Waldman (Beth Morrison Projects). His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, the Holland Festival, the Bang On A Can Marathon, and elsewhere. Educated at University of Michigan and Princeton, Little is co-founder of the annual New Music Bake Sale, has served as Executive Director of MATA, serves on the Composition Faculty at Mannes-The New School, and is Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble, Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam, Innova, and VIA Records labels. He is published by Boosey & Hawkes. www.davidtlittle.com

ROYCE VAVREK’s notable lyrics/libretti include Dog Days, Am I Born and Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera with David T. Little; 27 with Ricky Ian Gordon; Song from the Uproar with Missy Mazzoli; O Columbia with Gregory Spears; Strip Mall with Matt Marks; and Angel’s Bone with Du Yun. In April 2016, his first grand opera, JFK, with music by David T. Little, premiered at Fort Worth Opera. Co-commissioned by Fort Worth Opera, American Lyric Theater and Opéra de Montréal, JFK will be seen next in Montreal. Upcoming projects include Breaking the Waves with Missy Mazzoli with Opera Philadelphia/Beth Morrison Projects, Midwestern Gothic with Joshua Schmidt for Signature Theatre, The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters for Center for Contemporary Opera, The Release with Marisa Michelson for MasterVoices, and The House Without a Christmas Tree with Ricky Ian Gordon for Houston Grand Opera. Royce is Co-Artistic Director with soprano Lauren Worsham of the opera-theater company The Coterie. He is an alum of Concordia University (Montreal), New York University, and was a Resident Artist in the inaugural class of American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program in 2007.