A Dog Song

Swift, sure lines: Nicolas Lell Benavides ’10 debuts an opera about puppy love.

Where to find love but at the pound? That’s what happens in Pepito, a 20-minute opera with music by Nicolas Lell Benavides ’10. The libretto by Marella Martin Koch performed to sold-out crowds after the Washington National Opera commissioned it as one of three sitcom-length operas, part of the American Opera Initiative. Of the three, at least for the Washington Post, Pepito held “pride of place.” “It wasn’t just because dogs and children tend to steal the show. It was because Nicolas Lell Benavides, the composer, and Marella Martin Koch, the librettist, found a way to sketch complete characters in swift sure lines,” Post reviewer Anne Midgette opined. The opera tells the story of a couple missing connection. Arriving just 20 minutes before the shelter closes, one half of the couple find herself seeking “the right dog.” As woman and dog connect, the couple seems to find one another as well.

post-image What can love do? / Image Courtesy of Nicolas Lell Benavides
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