WNPR

Is It Opera? Musical Theater? This Composer Says It's Music On Its Own Terms

Feb 8, 2018

A short-form chamber opera composed by Connecticut native Nathan Fletcher recently premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Fletcher’s music blends traditional classical styles with influences from musical theater and film.

The 25-year-old composer spent his early years in Connecticut and his middle school years singing and studying in New York City. 

He came back to the state for high school and college, and returned once again to New York for grad school, where he wrote the piece “Poems from Edna St. Vincent Millay.” Fletcher was living at the time on Staten Island.

“I would take the ferry every day and on the wall of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, there’s a line from this poem: ‘We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.’”

His music has been described as cinematic.

“It may not necessarily be clear, oh this is opera, this is musical theater,” he said. “What’s most important is that it comes across as being natural, as being what its supposed to be.”

Fletcher said his goal is to create pieces that work on their own terms.

His next project? A satirical film called “The Facebook Opera,” soon to be released on YouTube.