|Movements||opera in three acts|
|Commission||Commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera and San Francisco Opera|
|Premiere||January 19, 1995; Houston, TX, Wortham Theater, Houston Grand Opera; Ward Holmquist, conductor|
Harvey Milk is inspired by the life and martyrdom of San Francisco‘s first openly gay elected public official. Harvey Milk had a foot in two separate ghettos: one gay, one Jewish. He was a boy in Long Island at the time of the liberation of the concentration camps in Europe at the end of World War II. Like many Jews of his generation, he clearly saw that remaining silent was no longer a moral option. His sense of moral outrage and courage stems from this time. When he began to transfer these lessons to himself as a gay man, he transformed himself from a closeted Wall Street businessman into an outspoken leader of the gay community.