Photo by Jody Christopherson
Photo by Jody Christopherson

The Inner Circle

Music: Daniel Felsenfeld
Libretto: Kate Gale
Based on the novel The Inner Circle, by T.C. Boyle

The Inner Circle is a sexually blunt new opera that tells the story of a group of researchers in the 1940s, led by the charismatic visionary Professor Kinsey, whose lives are entangled in his quest to embark on a revolutionary scientific program of capturing and studying human sexual behavior in a way never before attempted.

Why an opera about Kinsey?
Without knowing it, Alfred Kinsey changed the world. He taught us to discuss sex frankly, openly, to admit it as not only a basic human behavior but as a crushing, atavistic need. And he suffered for his vision. His research, especially of female sexuality and the “H Scale,” paved the way for discoveries and freedoms we take for granted today. The Inner Circle offers a distinct, fresh insight into how far we’ve come as a society and how far we have yet to go.


In the summer of 2015 Opera on Tap presented four fully-staged scenes of the opera-in-development at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We enjoyed a sold-out 5-night run of the program. Building on that success, we plan to present 2 semi-staged readings of the opera-in-full in late 2016 with the intent of premiering a full production of the opera in 2018 in New York City.

The Inner Circle is the second commission in Opera on Tap’s Roadworks Series, which commissions new full-length operatic works by up-and-coming composers. These works are intended to be immersive, entertaining and accessible to a large population, with a focus on American personalities and culture. The first commission in the series was James Barry’s comedic opera SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story, which premiered at HERE Arts in 2013 and was performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2014. Called “joyous” by The New York Times, SMASHED was one of sixteen productions chosen for the FringeNYC Encore Series.