The Filthy Habit

The Filthy Habit


Composed by Peter Hilliard

libretto by Matt Boresi



Caroline Worra and Jennifer Aylmer were both nominated for Best Actress in an Opera!

Images by Clinton B Photography


On the (much) lighter side, The Filthy Habit tells the story of Susan and Gil, newlyweds who struggle with Mayor Bloomberg’s new smoking ban in 2003. Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi have created a hilarious look at our modern attitudes toward smoking, and the pariahs we have unwittingly created. Their 25-minute opera is loosely based on Il segreto di Susanna by Wolf-Ferrari – in this updated version, the musical and cultural references fly thick and fast. Susan is no longer allowed to smoke pretty much ANYWHERE except her own home, thanks to Bloomberg – and when she does, her health-nut husband thinks she’s having an affair, because after all, the smoker COULDN’T be Susan. Our cast includes UrbanArias favorite Ethan Watermeier, and Jennifer Aylmer, who will appears with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this summer as Despina in Così fan tutte. UrbanArias is thrilled to welcome Lucy Bowen McCauley as our choreographer!


Susan – Jennifer Aylmer
Gil – Ethan Watermeier
Virginia – Monica Soto-Gil
Phillip – Peter Burroughs
Morris – James Rogers
Smokey – Dustin Kimball
Conducted by Robert Wood
Directed by Alan Paul
Choreographed by Lucy Bowen McCauley
Lighting and Set Design by David Arsenault
Costume Design by Rhonda Key