12 January 2017

'Soldier Stories' Opera at Camp Dodge, Iowa Jan. 27-29

The Des Moines (Iowa) Metro Opera opens its 45th anniversary season with a regional premiere of David T. Little's rock-infused "Soldier Songs," a one-act, multi-media production about "the loss of innocence and the difficulty of expressing the truth of war," Jan. 27-29, 2017 at the Iowa National Guard's Freedom Center armory, Camp Dodge, Iowa. Camp Dodge is located in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston.

The performance is part of the arts organization's "2nd Stages" series—community collaborations to create events in non-traditional performance spaces for opera.

According to press materials:
The opera centers on the abstract Soldier and follows his path through three different stages of his life: as a boy playing with his plastic soldiers and guns, heavily influenced by media images of heroes and war; as a young adult soldier, both thrilled and terrified by the grim reality of modern combat; and finally, as the older veteran returned home, struggling to confront his memories and consumed by grief when two marines come to tell him that his son has been killed in combat. 
The opera asks us to examine the real human costs of warfare and the part we all play as audience and media consumers in creating the culture of war and the emotionally-devastating cult of the real American hero.
"We greatly appreciate the Des Moines Metro Opera exploring the deeply personal experiences of American servicemembers and bringing forward the unique emotional, physical, mental and spiritual issues engendered by combat operations," said Col. Greg Hapgood, public affairs officer for the Iowa National Guard.

Baritone Michael Mayes will star in the performance, and composer Little will be attending the opening night. Des Moines Metro Opera Music Director and Principal Conductor David Neely will conduct the performance, which features an amplified seven-person orchestra. Audience members are cautioned that the production features strong language, simulated gunshots, explosions, and other potentially triggering sounds and visual effects.

Directed by Kristine McIntyre, and designed by Adam Crinson, the "Soldier Songs" production will also feature real military vehicles supplied by the Iowa National Guard.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online here, or by phone: 515.961.6221. Seating is limited. A photo identification is required for admittance to the military post.

Performances are:
  • Fri., Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sat., Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sun., Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.
Each performance will be followed by a facilitated "talk back" session with audience.

A FREE preview performance for veterans will be conducted during the final dress rehearsal Thurs., Jan. 26.

A promotional video appears at link here, and below:

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