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David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s one-act comedy Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera, is brought to the screen in October as part of Houston Grand Opera’s digital season. In December, Little’s powerful monodrama Soldier Songs is reimagined as a film by Opera Philadelphia for their new streaming service, the Opera Philadelphia Channel.

Composer David T. Little has often experimented with multimedia formats in his concert and stage works. Now this fall, two of his operas are being broadcast as films, reimagined for the screen by Houston Grand Opera and Opera Philadelphia. On October 23, Houston Grand Opera presents a film adaptation of David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek’s witty, colorful one-act, Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera. This riotous work explores the little-known Belgian sport of finch-sitting, and features a quirky cast of characters attempting to train their wittily named finches. The Wall Street Journal wrote: “Through Mr. Little’s deft vocal characterizations, adroit pacing, and colorful orchestration, one comes to understand them all.”

The Vinkensport cast includes frequent HGO performers, such as bass-baritone Ryan McKinny and soprano Nicole Heaston. McKinny acts as co-director alongside E. Loren Meeker, while HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers conducts. The film will be available through Marquee TV, an on-demand streaming platform focused on global arts and culture.

> Learn more about the Vinkensport film

In December, Opera Philadelphia presents a made-for-screen version of Little’s moving monodrama Soldier Songs, conceived by and starring baritone Johnathan McCullough. Told from the point of view of a soldier as he progresses from boyhood to old age, Soldier Songs dives into the contrasts between perceptions and realities of the life of a soldier. Animation and rock-infused music set the tone while a libretto pulled from the composer’s recorded interviews with war veterans lends realism.

The Soldier Songs film will be available in December 2020 on the new Opera Philadelphia Channel, a streaming app, for viewing on computers and mobile devices, or via AppleTV, Android TV, Roku, FireTV, and Chromecast.

> Learn more about the Soldier Songs film

> Further information on Work: Soldier Songs
> Further information on Work: Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera

Photo: Merri Cyr

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