The Falling and The Rising

Libretto by Jerre Dye

Dedicated to Sergeant First Class 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

Summary

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.

Character List

  • Soldier (Soprano D4-C6)

  • Toledo/Doctor 1* (Mezzo A3-A5)

  • Jumper/Doctor 2* (Tenor E3-C5)

  • Homecoming Soldier/Doctor 3* (Baritone A2-G4)

  • Colonel/Doctor 4* (Bass Baritone G2-F4)

  • Optional Chorus to join in the Finale

*Optional to double up on Doctors to include Doctors 5-8

*Also Optional to have doctors all be separate cast members to accommodate a larger cast

Orchestra Requirements

Bb Clarinet, French Horn, Percussion 1 (Vibraphone, Snare Drum, Glockenspiel, Bass Drum, Triangle, Tambourine, Suspended Cymbal), Percussion 2 (Marimba, 4 Timpani, Tam-tam, Suspended Cymbal, Glockenspiel), Piano*, Guitar, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

*Works well with piano reduction and 5 actors if orchestra and larger is cost/company prohibitive

The Falling and the Rising is a sublime opera that distills the complexity of our wars into vivid portraits of the women and men who continue to fight them. It is a beautiful work, deep but not heavy, a one-act that packs in a lot.
— - Memphis Flyer

Video

Video produced by the US Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus taken from the NYC Production at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater

Directed by Jerre Dye

Conducted by Tyson Deaton

Set and Lighting Design by Chris Rynne
Projections by Caroline Andrew 
Army Cast - Teresa Alzadon, Michaela Shelton, Betsy Garcia, Rose Ryon, Ben Hilgert, Jeremy Cady, Keenan McCarter, Dan Erbe, Will Tvrdik, Ian Bowling, and members of the US Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus

Article in Opera America Magazine!


UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS


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Project History

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April 6, 12, 13, 2019 Opera Memphis

MICHAEL SAKIR CONDUCTOR

NED CANTY STAGE DIRECTOR

CHELSEA MILLER  SOLDIER

STEPHANIE DOCHE TOLEDO & DOCTOR #1

PHILIP HIMEBOOK JUMPER & DOCTOR #2

MARCUS KING HOMECOMING SOLDIER & DOCTOR #3

DARREN STOKES COLONEL & DOCTOR #4

Photos by Ziggy Mack


February 7-10, 2019 Peabody ConservatoryOpera

Samuel Mungo, stage director
Peabody Chamber Opera Orchestra
JoAnn Kulesza, conductor


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January 12-13, 2019 Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre

Music Director - Tyson Deaton

Director - Jerre Dye

Set and Lighting Design by Chris Rynne
Caroline Andrew Projections by Catherine
Army Cast - Teresa Alzadon, Michaela Shelton, Betsy Garcia, Rose Ryon, Ben Hilgert, Jeremy Cady, Keenan McCarter, Dan Erbe, Will Tvrdik, Ian Bowling 


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April 6-8, 2018 TCU Premier

Music Director - Tyson Deaton

Director - David Gately

Army Cast - Michaela Shelton, Rachel Farber, Betsy Garcia, Rose Ryon,

Ben Hilgert, Jeremy Cady, Keenan McCarter, Dan Erbe, Will Tvrdik, Ian Bowling 

TCU Cast - Bronwyn White, Bridget Cappel, Josh Friend, Sam Parkinson and Dante Mireles


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August 21-28, 2017 Workshop at Seagle Music Colony

Music Director - Tyson Deaton

Director - David Gately

Cast - Michaela Shelton, Rachel Farber, Betsy Garcia, Rose Ryon, Ben Hilgert,

Jeremy Cady, Keenan McCarter, Dan Erbe, Mark Huseth, Ian Bowling all of the US Army Soldier's Chorus