Hilliard and Boresi

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The Last American Hammer 2018​​​
Full length One Act Opera (90 minutes)
Baritone, Mezzo, Soprano
Premiere 2018 Urban Arias, Washington DC

2020 Pittsburgh Opera
Banjo, Mandolin, String Quartet, Double Bass

​"Beautifully prepared, dramatically taut"
-Washington Post

​"[The Last American Hammer]" makes us challenge our cultural, political, racial, and regional assumptions head on"
-DC Theatre Scene

​"The Last American Hammer unfolds a microcosm of timely political debate... with a difficult, but needed conclusion for these times.
​-DC Metro Arts

Blue Viola 2015
Blues Opera in One Act (60 minutes)
2 Baritones, Mezzo, Tenor
Premiere 2015 Urban Arias, Arlington VA
Lyric Opera of the North production 2016
Memphis Opera Production 2017
Orchestration; Viola Obbligato, Clarinet, (doubling Bcl.) Guitar, (electric and acoustic) Cello, Double Bass, Piano

"The music moves fluidly from high to low, formal to vernacular, without ever straying into the bombastic or bathetic: lightly jazzy asides for Arnita’s bitter humor, free-floating blues for her conversations with others, darkly intricate backing for her secret hopes and doubts."  

"The real pleasure of Blue Viola is in the moment-to-moment detail of character that the performers are able to deliver. All four performers, under the fine direction of Tazewell Thompson, create portraits worthy of a non-musical stage drama, assisted by Boresi’s wry jokes and poetic observations. Longtime collaborators Boresi and Hilliard are well-matched to each other in how they blend different registers and styles seamlessly and are able to infuse every single note and word with precise care. They’re like chefs who can take any imaginable ingredient and fit it into a cohesive cuisine. "

"Topping all of these achievements, however, is Hilliard, who has managed to make a bluesy-jazzy modern opera that completely avoids Gershwin territory (well, 99% of the time, at least, and that’s good enough). Full of feeling, yet never sentimental, and permeated with muted colors, complex guitar licks, and enigmatic leitmofits, it’s worth the price of admission just to hear. " 

“. . . funny, thought-provoking, absorbing, and certainly not what most of you imagine when you think of opera . . . it is a thoroughly enjoyable gem of a tale that anyone in DC ought to consider taking in.”

“. . . gorgeous music, a clever and often-funny and tongue-in-cheek libretto, and a cast of talented singers – each possessing a gorgeous voice.”

– DC Metro Theater Arts

“UrbanArias’ production of Blue Viola, a new short opera by Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi, fills the Artisphere’s Black Box with deep, resonant voices, an accessible, compelling narrative, and exquisite music.”

– Elizabeth Bruce, MD Theater Guide

"With its mix of blues, Jazz, musical theatre, and modern classical music, 'Blue Viola' is a sophisticated melange of the sounds and styles of B.B. King, Stephen Sondheim and George Gershwin."

-Duluth News Tribune

Wonderful Clockwork 2001
Chamber Opera in One Act (20 minutes)
Tenor, Baritone, Countertenor
Piano accompaniment

The Filthy Habit 2004

Comic Opera in One Act (50 Minutes)
Soprano, Baritone, Jazz Vocal Trio
Written to be paired with Bernstein's Trouble In Tahiti
Premiere 2004 Manhattan Opera Theatre
Alliance Francais of New York PA 2004
Tanglewood Institute Lenox, MA 2004
2005 National Opera Association Chamber Opera Competition 2005
Manhattan School of Music at the National Opera Association National Conference, New York PA 2005
​Seattle Opera Young Artists Program at the OPERA American National Conference, Seattle WA 2006
Opera on Tap/American OperaProjects at An Opera Grows in Brooklyn, New York 2010
Urban Arias Production, Arlington VA 2012
Third Eye Theatre Ensemble Production at the Chicago Fringe Festival 2016 (first opera presented at the Chicago Fringe Festival)
Carnegie Mellon School of Music, Pittsburgh PA 2017
Lyric Opera Of The North Production, Duluth MN 2018​​​​

2 Orchestrations available: 
Larger Chamber Orchestration commissioned by Urban Arias
Fl, Ob, Cl, (doubling BC) Bn, Hn, Tpt, Tbn, Percussion, Piano, String Quartet, Double Bass
Smaller Chamber Orchestration commissioned by Lyric Opera of the North
Fl, Cl (doubling BC), Tpt, Tbn, Perc, Piano, Double Bass

-Opera Pulse

The Brazilian 2004
One Act Opera Bouffe (70 Minutes)
Commissioned by Manhattan Opera Theatre and the Alliance Francais NY
2 Coloratura Sopranos, Lyric Baritone, Tenor, and Female Speaking Role

Piano accompaniment, (Overture available orchestrated as a concert work)

Don Imbroglio 2002, 2005
Full Length Opera Buffa in 2 acts
Produced by Beth Morrison in the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival
2 Baritones, Coloratura Soprano, 2 Mezzos, 2 Tenors, Chorus
Orchestration: Pno, Cl (doubling BC) Accordion, Mandolin, (doubling Guitar) Bass

New York University Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program 2002
Lark Play Development Center, New York, NY 2003

"...consistently delightful...soaring, roaring arias, duets, trios, quartets and ensembles mostly notable for their playful homage to Mozart, Puccini, Bizet, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Sondheim, and with hilarious lyrics that are never more explicitly vernacular than 'Joey, pass the cannoli."

"A show daring to subtitle itself 'An Opera You Can't Refuse' has three vital responsibilities to fulfill: It had better be an opera, it had better be irreverent, and it had better be darn good. Don Imbroglio, which is playing at the Lion as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, meets all three criteria, and then some...

...Boresi's libretto, entirely in English except for the opera (for which supertitles are thoughtfully - and hilariously- provided), bursts with wit and charm as it sens up and adheres to operatic tradition. Hilliard's music is a fine match, setting up everything from minor comedy numbers to heavily layered duets and trios to keening arias of Metropolitan breadth. Hilliard also quotes from a number of existing operas, especially in the late wrapping-up-the-plot aria for the Don's scheming consiglieri Lascivo, but it's never overdone; for the most part, Hilliard reveals himself as an operatic pastiche artist of the highest order."
-Talkin' Broadway


Rigger Mortis 2011
The Music Theatre Company
30 minute musical written in 24 hours

A Schooling in Love 2009
Full Length Musical based on Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte

Going Down Swingin' 2007
Cast of 8

Full Length Musical based on Mozart's Don Giovanni, set in a failing 50's radio show

"One of the festival's most inventive musicals is also one of its most successful. 'Going Down Swingin' transplants the story of 'Don Giovanni' to a 1950s radio station studio, where the onslaught of television and the threat of younger men is making caddish host Dean Newhouse fear for his future. Composer Peter Hilliard and Lyricist-Librettist Matt Boresi hurl several conceits at the audience, but all of them land with graceful wit."- Variety

The Best Show of the Festival... it works perfectly" -Broadway Bullet 

"...takes tremendous advantage of opportunities to comment on the offensiveness of the racial and gender stereotypes promulgated in the popular entertainment of the era. The musical often features catchy period tunes that capture the bristling rivalry between swing-style jazz and blues and the period's burgeoning rock 'n' roll sensibilities.


Buyer Beware 2018
Written for Vale Rideout
Song Cycle for Tenor

Deadmall Ballads 2018
Written for Jennifer Aylmer
Song Cycle for Soprano

Farmball Songs 2005
Written for Todd Thomas
Song Cycle for Baritone


The Harmony Jar 2013
Commissioned by Vox Musica, directed by Daniel Paulson
Fairy Tale for SSAA chorus, Piano, and Puppets

"Among the most entertaining moments of the program was when the singers sang their parts on multi leveled stools and chairs like children in a kindergarten storytelling setting, enhanced by Songer's narrations and puppets telling the story of The Harmony Jar by Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi"
-Sacramento Choral Calendar

Eat Your Greens, The Complete Operas of Verdi in 20 Minutes performed by Vegetables 2003
Vegetable Puppet Show 

The Staten Island Grand Opera's Administrative Intern Presents: Tosca 2003
Performance piece for Narrator, Pianist, and Mime.


Listen 2017
Written for the 70th Birthday of the Abington Choral Club
SATB and Piano

Krakatau Tetraptych 2008
Commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, and the Anna Crusis Women's Choral
SSAA, SATB, and TTBB choruses, Piano, Percussion

My Love and I Are Talk Obsessed: Madrigals for the Information Age 2005
SSAA and SATB versions, acappella 

For information about any of these works, please contact us.