It’s fair to say that 27-year-old Matthew Aucoin is one of classical music’s fastest rising stars. Admittedly by the time he was Aucoin’s age, Mozart had written Idomeneoand Die Entführung aus dem Serail, but that’s not to strip Aucoin of his wunderkind status – he too was composing age four! But the fact that his opera Crossingis receiving a timely revival as well as its New York premiere is enough to prove that Aucoin is a very hot ticket and a musical voice well worth the listening to.

Rod Gilfry, Alexander Lewis and Company in Crossing. Photo © Richard Termine

The opera, straight through in one act and running at one hour 50 minutes, is ambitious in scale and forces. Calling for four principals, a chorus of 11 men and a chamber orchestra of 26, Aucoin has woven a rich tapestry of words and music around a fictional episode in the life of Walt Whitman, perhaps America’s most ‘operatic’ of poets. Whitman did indeed quit his life as a printer, schoolteacher and reporter in New York to serve as a volunteer nurse for much of the Civil...