'he made choices so he could do what he knew would be beautiful'

Richard Alan White's 900-page opera "Hester" is getting its debut tonight at the Center for Contemporary Opera in Manhattan. White is 82, and has worked on the opera for decades, supporting his family with a series of jobs as a security guard, including 16 years at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire.

“I don’t know what they are going to think of me, so it’s a little nervous. I think the music is done, great music, but I really don’t know if it is going to be great, or not so great.” 
Reviews aside, White already has one admirer in his former boss at Daniel Webster College, Hannah McCarthy. 
“He was good, he was so good,” she says. “But what he really had, he had so much passion for this. I mean he gave his entire life to this work. He made choices so he could do what he knew would be beautiful, and I expect that it will be.”

Story from Todd Bookman at New Hampshire Public Radio, found thanks to Here and Now.

More in The New York Times.