"There are no two points so distant from one another that they cannot be connected by a single straight line -- and an infinite number of curves."

Composer Lawrence Dillon has produced an extensive body of work, from brief solo pieces to a full-length opera. Three disks of his music are due out in 2010 on the Bridge, Albany and Naxos labels. In the past year, he has had commissions from the Emerson String Quartet, the Cassatt String Quartet, the Mansfield Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic, the Salt Lake City Symphony, the Ravinia Festival, the Daedalus String Quartet, the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the University of Utah and the Idyllwild Symphony Orchestra.

Although he lost 50% of his hearing in a childhood illness, Dillon began composing as soon as he started piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1985, he became the youngest composer to earn a doctorate at The Juilliard School, and was shortly thereafter appointed to the Juilliard faculty. Dillon is now Composer in Residence at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he has served as Music Director of the Contemporary Ensemble, Assistant Dean of Performance, and Interim Dean of the School of Music. He was the Featured American Composer in the February 2006 issue of Chamber Music magazine.

Visit Lawrence Dillon's Web Site

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Monday, March 14, 2005
Twilight Zone

From time to time, I get junk mail addressed to me and Ann Merriman. Credit card offers, complimentary magazines, etc. I’ve never met Ann Merriman, but I guess I know her better than anyone else could.

Who is Ann Merriman?

She’s a character in my opera.

Why do I get mail addressed to the two of us? I have no idea. I didn’t realize that fictional characters could be eligible for promotional interest rates, senior citizen discounts and free coffee mugs.

The other day Ann and I got an offer for a subscription to Forbes Magazine, with a complimentary travel bag, and I suddenly realized that all of the mail she’s been getting is targeted at people with expendable income.

My opera (it's called Buffa, which should give you a good indication of its tone) is about a small American opera company struggling to deal with tight budgets and fundraising challenges. Ann Merriman is a local donor: enthusiastic and wealthy. In other words, she is exactly the kind of person advertising agencies would be eager to court.

I find it very impressive that Madison Avenue has put together such a focused consumer profile for someone who doesn’t exist.

Is this a common thing? Do all authors get mail addressed to their creations? Did I miss some fine print when I signed that contract with the devil that led me to write an opera in the first place?

Would this be a good subject for my next opera? A composer whose life is overtaken by a fictional mezzo?