Kent State senior’s opera debuts in fall ‘Opera Scenes’ production

Danielle Day

Kent State senior Scott Little debuted music he composed for an original opera, a part of the Kent State Opera Scenes fall production in the Wright-Curtis Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts Saturday and Sunday evening.

The production followed the theme of “Marriage: Inside, Out” and included scenes from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” Hector Berlioz’s “Beatrice and Benedict” and Little’s “The Story of an Hour.”

“The Story of an Hour” is originally a short story written by Kate Chopin in 1894. Tim Tibbitts, a Cleveland-based author, first came to Little, a senior music education major, with the idea of converting the story into an opera in 2016, where the two worked together to create the opera.

It took the trio of Little, Tibbitts (who converted the short story into music lyrics called libretto) and Marla Berg, associate professor of music and opera program director, two years to create the rendition.

“On one hand, I did (the show) because it was something really cool to do,” Little said. “On the other hand, the short story that Kate Chopin wrote is really good, it’s a great story to tell.”

The show sold out Saturday night with another production Sunday evening.

Some attended the show for personal interest in the performance content and others looking for a unique experience.

“(‘The Story of an Hour’) is one of my favorite short stories, so I really enjoyed it,” Emmie Tallman, a freshman studio art major said.

“It was a different way to spend your night, but very entertaining,” Nicole Grimm, a freshman pre-fashion design and merchandising major said. “I think it was worthwhile attending.”

Little gave insight on what it was like composing the opera as he balanced schoolwork and the production.

“It is a big undertaking to write this much music,” Little said. “Composing music for me is a back-and-forth between creative outbursts and then periods of making those things work.”

Berg was hopeful the audience had good experience and enjoyed the show.

“I believe that attendees this weekend will take away an experience of beautiful music and lovely storytelling,” Berg said.

Tibbitts was also happy with how the night turned out.

“It was amazing (working with Little and Berg),” Tibbitts said. “The most cool thing for me has been watching Scott’s growth over the two years that we have been working together.”

“I was really impressed with the quality of the performances, amazed by the students. I’m truly grateful to Marla Berg for making this happen,” Tibbitts said.

Danielle Day is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected].