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Opera at USC presents a lullaby to New York and Edward Hopper

Later the Same Evening opens on February 24

Inspired by five of Edward Hopper’s classic American paintings, Later the Same Evening was written in 2007 by composer John Musto and librettist Mark Campbell. The story reveals the hope, longing and love of characters in five Hopper paintings as they step out of their frames and come to life.

Opera at USC brings the fully staged production to the Drayton Hall stage (1214 College St., Columbia, SC) for its South Carolina premiere on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 26 at 3:00 p.m.

Later the Same Evening imagines the lives of the people in five Edward Hopper paintings on one evening in New York City in 1932. Musto’s opera gives detail to each of the figures portrayed in Hopper’s paintings and follows them to a chance encounter at a Broadway musical. A widow, a new wife, a dancer, a young man, an old Jewish couple, and an Italian woman inhabit the world of their paintings – "Room in New York," "Hotel Window," "Hotel Room," "Two on the Aisle" and "Automat" – recreating the atmosphere and mystique of New York City in the 1930s.

A native of Brooklyn and lifelong New Yorker, composer Musto creates a soundscape that embraces the restless energy of the city and its people, New York’s complexity, and its many sounds and songs. An accomplished pianist and vocal collaborator, Musto is an active performer and composer in New York and has written orchestral music, concerti, and music for film and television. Later the Same Evening is the second of his four operas, all written since 2004. This eclectic score draws upon a variety of influences, including jazz, blues, musical theater, and even a rumba, waltz and barcarolle, a song traditionally sung by Venetian gondoliers.

University of South Carolina’s Ellen Douglas Schlaefer directs Opera Studies, a comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students that covers every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes. USC is one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide that offers special training and practice for aspiring opera stage directors, and Opera at USC presents two fully staged operas with orchestra and an evening of one-act operas each year.

USC’s Neil Casey conducts the Opera at USC Orchestra, Lynn Kompass is vocal coach, Jean Lomasto is costume designer, Julie Duro is lighting designer, and scenery is designed by Teddy R. Moore. Cast members are Melanie Piercy and Jacob Rothman as Elaine and Gus O’Neill, Michelle Story as Estelle Oglethorpe, Alicia Renney as Ruth Baldwin, James Siarris as Ronaldo Cabral, Amos Warren and Jennifer Mitchell as Sheldon and Rose Segal, Margaret Van Norden as Valentina Scarcella, Katelyn Tesla as Thelma Yablonski, Michael T. Brown as Jimmy O’Keefe, and Kendrick Williams as Joe Harland.

Pre-performance lecture on Hopper

USC’s professor of art history Dr. Bradford Collins presents a free lecture on Edward Hopper at 6:30 p.m. prior to the Friday and Saturday performances. The lecture takes place in the Wardlaw building room 126, across the courtyard from Drayton Hall.

Tickets on sale now!

Tickets: adults: $25; seniors, USC faculty & staff, military: $20; students with ID: $7
Purchase tickets online at sc.edu/music/opera, call 803-777-5369, or purchase at the door.
Please note that online and phone sales end at 3 p.m. on opening day. After that you may purchase at the door one hour before show.