“Kitty Hawk,” A Will Graham Original Opera

“Kitty Hawk,” A Will Graham Original Opera

“Kitty Hawk,” an original Opera commissioned by the AJ Fletcher Foundation in Raleigh, NC and written by Will Graham, Artistic Director for the AJ Fletcher Foundation, opened to rave reviews from the media. For 52 years, the National Opera Company has performed traditional operas. This is the first time they have commissioned a new work.

This one-act opera, a first for Will Graham, is set to composer Mark Scearce’s musical score that surprises the audience with a barbershop quartet number, not usually found in a traditional opera. Since Scearce resides in Hickory, NC and Graham resides in Raleigh, NC, it made it made it easy for the two artists to collaborate on the opera. It appeals to children and students, even though it is not written as a children’s opera.

The story follows Orville and Wilbur Wright in Kill Devil Hills, NC as they attempt to fly the first airplane. It follows their hopes, failures and the spirit of competition with Samuel Langley, their only serious rival in the race the first manned flight. Accepting their friends’ skepticism with their usual good humor, they announce that the time has come to put the Flyer in the air, which they did in 1903.


Will Graham
Will Graham, artistic director of the AJ Fletcher Foundation, said, “New commissions are the best thing you can do for opera. Otherwise, it’s going to die on the vine. We need to not just keep retreating back to the 18th- and 19th-century formulas, as wonderful as they are. There’s no doubt they’re masterpieces – but at one point they were the new works.”

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