Rorem, who's 81, told me last week he's about a third of the way through the orchestrations for his new opera, Our Town, set to the seemingly imperishable 1938 play by Thornton Wilder. He wouldn't say how he'd approached this nearly iconic work — "The music should speak for itself,” he said — but that he's quite aware of all the associations audiences will bring to the opera. "I'm feeling very exposed," he told me. The opera premieres Feb, 24, 2006, at the Indiana University Opera Theater.
Well, that's interesting. Note that I happened to read this while Aaron Copland's film score for Our Town was playing in the background. The 1940 film, screenplay also by Thornton Wilder, stars a young William Holden (image of of an older Holden via Wikipedia).