Works in Progress - Winter 2016

Spotted Opera

An excerpt from a new opera

By Our Editors | December 7, 2015
From the 1960 cover of the Harvill Press edition of The Leopard
From the 1960 cover of the Harvill Press edition of The Leopard


Composer Michael Dellaira and poet and librettist J. D. McClatchy have collaborated on two operas in recent years: The Secret Agent in 2011 and The Death of Webern in 2013. They are now at work on an operatic version of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s post-humous 1958 novel, The Leopard. Shown here is a page from Act I of the opera, set in 1860 during the unification of Italy, with Garibaldi’s army advancing on Palermo and the defiant prince of Salina (the Leopard) remaining loyal to the king. In this scene, Dellaira says, “the prince’s daughter Concetta sings a short aria expressing not only her infatuation with the prince’s nephew Tancredi (who has chosen to join Garibaldi) but also her innocent—and ultimately sad—delusion that Tancredi feels the same way about her. Just as she finishes her aria, the beautiful Angelica enters and becomes the center of attention, catching Tancredi’s wandering eye.”

Listen to part of the new opera:

With a synthetic orchestra, sung by Jennifer Sgroe


With piano, sung by Elizabeth Sutphen and accompanied by Jennifer Peterson


Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

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