What Belongs to You creative team
The What Belongs to You creative team: Garth Greenwell, Alan Pierson, Karim Sulayman, David T. Little, and Mark Morris

UR’s Modlin Center for the Arts to Host World Premiere of Opera Based on Garth Greenwell Novel

Creative Team and Artists Will Engage with UR Students While In Residence
July 3, 2024

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts will host the world premiere of What Belongs to You, a chamber opera based on the acclaimed debut novel of the same name by Garth Greenwell.

Commissioned by the Modlin Center and the instrumental ensemble Alarm Will Sound, the opera will premiere at the Modlin Center on Thursday, September 26, and Saturday, September 28.

In addition to the performances, the creative team will participate in various workshops for students. A panel discussion and Q&A for the general public will be held on Friday, September 27, in the Alice Jepson Theatre. 

Composed by David T. Little, a GRAMMY Award-nominated composer and librettist, and directed by renowned choreographer and director Mark Morris, the opera will be performed by tenor Karim Sulayman and Alarm Will Sound, led by conductor Alan Pierson. The set and costume design is by Maile Okamura, and lighting design is by Nicole Pearce.

The opera tells the story of an unnamed narrator’s obsession with a hustler named Mitko, and the start of a “long, unstable, and ultimately destructive affair,” said composer David T. Little. “The story is specific and personal, but the experience Greenwell describes is universal: the search for self and the desire to belong amidst loneliness and enduring heartbreak.”

“The Modlin Center for the Arts is honored to present and support the premiere of this dynamic contemporary opera,” said Paul Brohan, executive director of the Modlin Center. “What Belongs to You is a work of artistic excellence that will be created and realized on our campus, providing a unique opportunity for developing meaningful and impactful relationships between this project’s world class artists and the students, faculty, and community of the University of Richmond.”

Please visit the Modlin Center website for ticket information.