little / soldier songs

Soldier Songs

EVENING SHOWS January 27 | January 28

Music and libretto by David T. Little
Performed in English
Company Premiere

David T. Little's Soldier Songs is contemporary opera at its best. Based on interviews from veterans of five different American wars, some of them Little's own family members, the piece begins with both audience and performer listening to those actual veterans' voices telling us what it means to be a soldier in American society.

We see the Soldier at three different stages in 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 battle. 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.

As part of Des Moines Metro Opera's commitment to community engagement through the 2nd Stages Series, Soldier Songs will be fully-produced in the Freedom Center at Camp Dodge where we will create an immersive performance experience of stunning video and audio design that brings the audience closer than ever to the music and drama. Producing this opera on an active military base in the deployment hall will truly bring home the relevance of this extraordinary piece and the importance of the questions it poses.

The part of the Soldier will be sung by Michael Mayes, a riveting performer who will take full advantage of the uniqueness and intimacy of the scenic design to tell a story like you have never seen or heard before.

SoldierMichael Mayes
ConductorDavid Neely
Stage DirectorKristine McIntyre
Scenic DesignerAdam Crinson
Sound DesignerZach Cramer
Lighting DesignerKathy Maxwell
Music StaffYasuko Oura
Stage ManagerChris Staub