Composed by John Musto with a libretto by Mark Campbelll, Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper (informally known as "Hoppera") is a joint production between the Clarice Smith Center, the University of Maryland School of Music and the National Gallery of Art, which is currently running the largest Hopper exhibition to occur outside New York in the last 25 years.
Set during one night in New York City in 1932, the opera follows subjects imagined through Hopper's Room in New York (1932), Hotel Window (1955), Hotel Room (1931), Two on the Aisle (1927) and Automat (1927), and their convergence at a Broadway theater. The paintings depict the delicacy in human interaction and solitude typical of Hopper's portrayals of urban milieus.
"It's a lullaby to New York, the music is that late night, New York, lamp-shining-in-a-dark-street — that kind of atmosphere," Musto said on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday last month. Musto, who is colorblind, drew most of his inspiration for the opera from Campbell's libretto.
Leon Major, a professor of opera at the University, directs the fully staged production, performed by the school's Maryland Opera Studio and the National Gallery Orchestra led by Glen Cortese.
The production's design team includes Erhard Rom, scenic designer; David Roberts, costume designer; and Nancy Schertler, lighting designer.
Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper receives four performances through November 18, with a reprise on December 2 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.