Harvey Pekar of American Splendor fame has contributed a libretto for an autobiographical jazz opera to be accompanied by music by saxophonist Dan Plonsey. The opera is entitled Leave Me Alone! and is set to be performed on January 31st in Oberlin, Ohio. If you are nowhere near Ohio, the performance will also be broadcast live online via the opera's official homepage. Mark your calendars!

The official homepage states..
"LEAVE ME ALONE! is a new jazz opera with music by Dan Plonsey on a libretto by Harvey Pekar, to be performed at 8pm on January 31st, 2009 in Finney Chapel, Oberlin College, OH, and streamed live to an international online audience.

The story of the opera revolves around conversations between the composer and librettist held from their respective living rooms in the Bay Area and Cleveland. Dan and Harvey, the two primary interlocutors, played by themselves, engage in discussions about music, the life of the artist as householder, finding time to work, the current state of the avant garde, and the opera itself.

Further characters include their wives, Mantra Ben-ya'akova Plonsey and Joyce Brabner (also played by themselves), and Musical Director Josh Smith. Telephone appearance by Robert Crumb in conversation with the artists provides additional perspectives on the opera's themes. An ensemble of 6 musicians comprises the orchestra accompanying four singers who variously double the protagonists.

Both Plonsey and Pekar are deeply committed to the notion that art transgresses and transcends distinctions of class and hence ought to be populist in nature, available to all."

Click here for the official press release.