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Richmond, VA

September 26 @ 7:30 pm EDT

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an opera by David T. Little

Based on the novel by Garth Greenwell

Karim Sulayman as The American

Alarm Will Sound
Alan Pierson, Conductor

Mark Morris, Director
Maile Okamura, Set and Costume Design
Nicole Pearce, Lighting Design

Alarm Will Sound and the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond are pleased to present the WORLD PREMIERE of What Belongs to You, an opera by GRAMMY-nominated composer/librettist David T. Little, based on the celebrated novel by Garth Greenwell. This performance features the Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman, the 2019 GRAMMY-winner for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.


What Belongs to You, a new opera by David T. Little, is an adaptation of Garth Greenwell’s stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, this indelible story explores the ways our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love. Tenor Karim Sulayman portrays the protagonist over the lush score performed by chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound. Helmed by famed director and choreographer Mark Morris, this presentation is a World Premiere and Modlin Center Commission. This opera is intended for mature audiences.

You are also invited to join the Creative Team for a panel discussion and Q&A on Friday, September 27th @ 7 PM | Alice Jepson Theatre. This public engagement event is Free and tickets are required.

Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman sings the singular vocal role in the opera. Sulayman has garnered international attention as a sophisticated and versatile artist, consistently praised for his sensitive and intelligent musicianship, riveting stage presence, and beautiful voice. A 2019 GRAMMY® Award winner, he regularly performs on the world’s stages in orchestral concerts and opera, as well as in recital and chamber music.

The opera’s orchestrations will be performed by Alarm Will Sound, “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene” (The New York Times). A 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music, they have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic virtuosity. Since its inception, Alarm Will Sound has been associated with composers at the forefront of contemporary music.

A natural musical storyteller with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times), composer David T. Little (composer/librettist) is known for stage, concert, and screen works permeated with the power of the unexpected. Little’s broad catalog speaks to the mix of light and dark that we experience in life, unafraid to invoke the mythical, bewitching, disturbing, surreal, or comedic.

Director and choreographer Mark Morris has been praised as “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical” (The New York Times). In addition to creating over 150 works for the Mark Morris Dance Group, he conducts orchestras, directs opera, and choreographs for ballet companies worldwide.

Garth Greenwell is the author of the novel What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including thePEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.



Modlin Center for the Arts
453 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
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