The Falling and the Rising

Sunday, October 16, 2022 • 2:00 pm

Center Stage


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The Falling and the Rising is an operatic story of service and sacrifice, which traces the inner journey of a soldier who enters a coma after she suffers a roadside attack. As the soldier moves through her unconscious dreamscape, the audience will serve as both companion and witness, sharing powerful encounters with fellow service members along the way.

This opera 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, Soldier is severely wounded by a roadside bomb. As she experiences a medically-induced coma, she sees visions of other soldiers’ stories, each on their journey toward healing and home.

Based on real-life interviews with wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital, this Soldier’s odyssey was created to honor the indomitable spirit of our U.S. Military veterans. By shedding light on the inspirational power of their stories, Arizona Opera hopes to knit the civilian and veteran/military populations together through this story of family, service, sacrifice, and hope.

Performed in English with English supertitles.

Part of the McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series. Production made possible, in part, through generous support from Michael and Beth Kasser and The Richard C Stahl Charitable Trust.

The Falling and the Rising was conceived by Sergeant First Class Benjamin Hilgert. The Falling and the Rising was originally commissioned by the US Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, Opera Memphis, Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, and TCU. The Falling and the Rising was originally workshopped at Seagle Music Colony. Special thanks go to Garnett Brooks for producing the New York premiere at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in January, 2018.

Featured photo by Ziggy Mack

Approx. 1 hour 20 minutes