Erdman Co-Creator of New Opera ‘The Scarlet Professor’

Harley Erdman
Harley Erdman

Harley Erdman, a dramaturg and graduate program director of the department of theater, has written the lyrics for a new opera to be presented in the fall.

“The Scarlet Professor,” co-created with Eric Sawyer, a composer based at Amherst College, is based on local author Barry Werth’s book of the same name about Smith College professor Newton Arvin, forced to retire early in 1960 after gay pornographic material was discovered in his apartment.

William Hite, UMass Amherst senior lecturer in voice, sings the lead role.

“The Scarlet Professor” runs Sept. 15-17, 23 & 24 at Theatre 14 in the Mendenhall Center for the Arts at Smith College, sponsored by the Five College Opera.

Visit “The Scarlet Professor” website to learn more about the opera and find a link to purchase tickets.

Erdman is also working on a new musical “Donny Johns,” which is a modern adaptation of the Don Juan story.