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Groundbreaking Opera, 'Desert In' Celebrates Gay Pride

Groundbreaking new opera, 'Desert In' celebrates gay pride and is commissioned and produced by Boston Lyric Opera. 'Desert in' is the story of a married female couple (Leonard and Trevigne) who run a mysterious motor lodge where guests pay to be reunited with lost loves...of all types. The opera mini-series features music by some of today's best composers, script by a team of TV veterans and playwrights, and a narrative perfect for Pride Month. It premieres on June 3, 2021 on Boston Lyric Opera's website for online streaming.

Part supernatural love story, part dazzling long-form music video, “desert in” is driven by a blend of striking new music that ranges from lush classical to jazz, from electronic soundscape to cinematic sweep, and more.

Watch the teaser trailer below!


Told in eight episodes ranging from 10 to 20 minutes each, the story of “desert in” revolves around two couples: Cass and Sunny, the innkeepers at a remote motor lodge called the Desert Inn, who are celebrating a milestone anniversary; and new guests Ion and Rufus, who are celebrating their honeymoon. Cass and Ion harbor secrets from their lovers, and money exchanges hands to ensure everyone’s happiness.

At the heart of the Desert Inn is the shimmering, oasis-like pool, where parties take place, furtive liaisons happen, and mounting tensions have unnatural effects on the water. Among the other colorful characters who stay or work at the Inn are a witchy Lounge Singer, a mysterious handyman named Federico with secret passions of his own, and an Old Man who yearns to reconnect to his past.

Unexpected romances, shamanic rituals, and a roiling spiritual world surround the motor lodge. As the Inn’s money-for-memories scheme starts to unravel, friends and lovers become enemies, details become fuzzy, and guests check out in surprising ways. Fiery passions bring the story to an explosive end.



  • Isabel Leonard (the three-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano, singing and portraying the character of Cass);

  • Talise Trevigne (the Grammy-nominated soprano, singing and portraying Sunny);

  • Justin Vivian Bond (Tony Award-nominated actor/singer, singing and portraying The Lounge Singer);

  • Raviv Ullman (Disney's "Phil of the Future," and "The Accidental Wolf" w/Kelli O'Hara and Judith Ivey, portraying Ion);

  • Alexander Flores (from “The Maze Runner” film series and the upcoming sci-fi thriller "Project Dorothy," portraying Rufus);

  • Anthony Michael Lopez (the film "Mapplethorpe" w/Matt Smith, portraying Federico);

  • Ricco Ross (seen in the Starz series “P-Valley” and James Cameron’s “Aliens,” in portraying Old Man/Derek);

  • Jon Orsini (the film "The Assistant" with Julia Garner, and forthcoming film "The Survivalist" w/Jonathan Rhys Meyers and John Malkovich, portraying the Son); and

  • Carlis Shane Clark (the film “Dutch” with Jeremy Meeks, playing The Stranger).


  • Baritone and 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup winner Edward Nelson (singing Ion);

  • Tony Award-winning tenor Jesus Garcia (singing Rufus);

  • Renowned tenor Alan Pingarrón (singing Federico);

  • Bass-baritone and 2018 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award Davóne Tines (singing Old Man/Derek); and

  • Soprano Brianna J. Robinson, mezzo-soprano Emma Sorenson, and tenor Neal Ferreira (singing a ghostly Greek-chorus-like trio known as “Vapors”).


The eight “desert in” episodes are helmed by four directors including:

  • Opera and film director, and Long Beach Opera Artistic Director James Darrah (“The Fall of the House of Usher” opera film, “Breaking the Waves” opera; “Soldier Songs” opera film );

  • Emmy Award-nominated producer and director Zackary Drucker (director, “The Lady and and the Dale” on HBO Max, and producer, “Transparent” on Prime Video);

  • Veteran TV writer, producer and director Joy Kecken (writer/co-executive producer, “Motherland: Fort Salem” on Freeform, and writer/director for HBO’s “The Wire”);

  • and onscreen artist and director Raviv Ullman (director, “Standing Ground” documentary film).



Click the link below to buy the subscription to experience this online streaming event:

Questions? Contact our team at or 617.542.6772

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