The Falling and The Rising
Libretto by Jerre Dye
Dedicated to Staff Sergeant Ben Hilgert
Co-Commissioned by Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Memphis, TCU, Seagle Music Colony and US Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus
Premiering in April 2018
The Falling and the Rising centers around a strong female hero known only as “Soldier”. After sending a video message home on the eve of her daughter’s thirteenth birthday, our soldier is severely wounded by a roadside IED. Doctors quickly place her in an induced coma to help minimize the extensive trauma to her brain. The soldier must now make an arduous journey towards both healing and home. The Falling and the Rising chronicles the imagined journey of a soldier suspended inside a coma. We follow as she makes her way through a miraculous coma-induced dreamscape- one punctuated with the lives of other fellow service members, each on their own individual journey toward healing and home. Together, they must move toward clarity, comfort, consciousness, and communal hope during a time of adversity. This operatic soldier’s odyssey was created in hopes of capturing the indomitable spirit of our U.S. military veterans and to shed light on the inspirational power of their often overlooked stories. The Falling and the Rising is a story of family, service, and sacrifice inside a period of great uncertainty.