Having guests for dinner

When Marcus and Laura arrive at their friend's coworker's house for a dinner party, things take an unexpected turn for the macabre. Curious guests always make the best food in this one act dark comedy!

"Trash in this context means that it takes its inspiration from the movies and TV shows that are so bad that they're good - the sort of art that encourages you not only to laugh with it, but at it!"


Nicholas Bentz, composer

Music by Nicholas Bentz

2020 premiere, New Opera West

Scored for piano, solo mezzo-soprano, solo tenor, & solo bass

Length: 16 minutes

Premiere Cast:

Laura - Janet Szepei Todd

Marcus - Edmond Rodriguez

Christoph - Anthony Moreno

Mikylvxka Hllupo

Mikylvxka Hllupo is a monodrama for bass voice and Pierrot ensemble, following an unnamed speaker's hallucinatory journey through its crests and troughs, reaching ecstatic highs and ultimately a sublimely horrifying descent into the dark plains of the human un-conscience as they come face to face with an incomprehensible terror.

I step into my room

lock the door
close the windows
and turn the lights off
The room is dead
The room is cold
The devil whispers a lullaby

I close my eyes
As silence looms and the room awakens, the walls sprint away
The ceiling joins the nebulae above
The floorboard sinks into a hole like fine white sands rushing down an hourglass

There is no room
I am the room
I am nothing
I am all

My head erupts into clouds of bismuth

I watch my body shrink, disappear
until I'm zipping at the speed of light

The night sky blurs

Stars transmuted into radiant streams of epiphany
My soul splits into trillions of atoms bursting in all directions overwhelmed
by terror sublime

The Eye of God speaks to me in a conch shell melody, casting the shadow of the four suns

The iris, a black halo
a rainbow of colors I've never seen before, engulfs the soul with inescapable gravity

The Eye of God splits open my skull

allowing for the purest wine to flow from the river of life and light
It knows all and understands nothing, but I comprehend

The Eye of God is the grand spiral, the universal whole, the constant nothing
the great I AM

I am nothing
I am the universe I am the spiral

I am every molecule of air
and every photon splattering colour on Earth's blank canvas, giving birth to emerald valleys and scorched canyons
I am the truth

The I
watching me

My third eye awakened, God paints an image:

a black mass of spiders and crows crawling

contorting their appendages
confined to the cancerous glue that imprisons them, cackling at the demon they've created
A sinister tumor with porcelain horns scraping holes in the sky

maggots and worms convulsing as one
infecting one another with their poison
which comes from the oozing, black hearts of angels smote down from the kingdom

The creature screams at me with its static howl. Ouroboros circle its red, bulging eyes
The red eyes that illuminate the abyss
and peer into my deepest fears

Secrets hidden deep within my castle, secrets that I will take to my grave.

Music by Nicholas Bentz

2017 premiere, Peabody Conservatory

Scored for solo bass voice & Pierrot ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, & piano)

Length: 15 minutes

Premiere Cast:

Robert Ellsworth Feng, bass

Lily Josefsberg, flute

Andrew Im, clarinet

Shannon Fitzhenry, violin

Kahler Suzuki, cello

Aaron Thacker, piano

Alan Buzbaum, conductor