The opera has a libretto by poet J. D. McClatchy. It is one of several major works commissioned by Juilliard to celebrate its centennial; the others include a musical by Michael Torke and Craig Lucas and a new dance work by Eliot Feld set to Steve Reich's Drumming.
The world-premiere performances run through April 30 at Juilliard's Peter Jay Tharp Theater. Andreas Delfs, the music director of the Milwaukee Symphony and a Juilliard alumnus, conducts the Juilliard Theater Orchestra; Ken Cazan is the director. The cast, drawn from the Juilliard Opera Center, includes tenor Jeremy Little in the title role.
Miss Lonelyhearts, which was West's second novel, tells the story of a male journalist who writes a pseudonymous advice column and eventually becomes involved with one of his correspondents.
Photos by Nan Melville.