Not Quite an Opera, Not Quite a Musical, ‘The Falling and the Rising' Has Its World Premiere at TCU

FORT WORTH – It was billed as the world premiere of a new opera. But what transpired Friday night at Texas Christian University's Ed Landreth Auditorium sounded more like a musical, its musical language closer to Sondheim, albeit with more percussion. Yet, The Falling and the Rising isn't constructed as a musical – or, for that matter, as an opera. I'm not sure what it is.All those yearning vocal lines and harmonies should be no surprise from a composer, Zach Redler, known for his musical theater work. The libretto is by the playwright, director and actor Jerre Dye. However one labels it, the one-act work is a series of long – and I do mean long – soliloquies/arias sharing the experiences of labeled but unnamed soldiers. The words are based on interviews with actual American soldiers in military hospitals.  Continue reading...

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