Soldier Songs around the US

Since the premiere of Beth Morrison Projects production in 2011–directed by Yuval Sharon–Soldier Songs has worked to engage with veterans around the country. Whether in New York, New Haven, or Tallahassee, efforts have been made to reach out to local veteran communities, inviting members to attend performances–often at no cost, or with discounted ticket prices–and in many cases, providing safe spaces for discussion of their experience following the performances.

Starting in in the 2015-16 season, the dynamics shifted. At Atlanta Opera in 2015, the work was directed for the first time by a combat veteran, Tomer Zvulun. This production then traveled to San Diego Opera, where the company engaged with active military personnel for the first time on such a scale.  While SDO partnered with organizations like the USO and the Three Wise Men, Des Moines Metro Opera took things a step further, staging the work on the active military base Camp Dodge, where military personnel participated in the rehearsal process, advising the creative team in matters of authenticity.

As a result of these innovative and bold approaches by these companies, Soldier Songs has taken on a bridge-building function in these communities, connecting military and civilian audiences, pursuing empathetic pathways of communication, in ways not imagined when the piece was first composed.

posted on January 31, 2017