On-Demand Video: An Evening with Nico Muhly and Two Boys

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On May 14 at 10 p.m. ET, Q2 Music and NPR Music presented a special live video webcast previewing the American debut of composer Nico Muhly's opera Two Boys.

Presented by the Metropolitan Opera and (Le) Poisson Rouge, this performance included appearances by friends and collaborators including tenor and Two Boys star Paul Appleby, soprano Jennifer Zetlan (who starred in Muhly's 2011 chamber opera Dark Sisters), violist Nadia Sirota and duo violinists Angela and Jennifer Chun. Muhly describes the program as "things I love, things they love, things I've written and things from the 17th century," and it included two selections from Two Boys.

This work, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, is loosely based on a true story from the 1990s, just at the birth of online culture. It delves into a curious and still very timely tale: a detective's investigation into the stabbing of one teenage boy by another, a crime that unspools within a web of chat room activity. Upon the piece's world premiere at the English National Opera in June 2011, New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe described Two Boys as "Muhly's best work yet." Two Boys arrives for its American premiere at the Met in October.