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Based on interviews with veterans from five wars, David T. Little’s Grammy-nominated Soldier Songs weaves opera, rock, and film into a stirring and innovative examination of trauma, exploitation, and the difficulty of expressing war’s painful truths. Baritone Johnathan McCullough directs and stars as the Soldier in the film the New York Times called “a worthy addition to the far-too-slight catalog of opera presented in cinematic form.” Filmed on location at the Brandywine Conservancy in Chester County, Pennsylvania, by the site of a significant Revolutionary War battle of 1777.
The feature film is accompanied by Opera Philadelphia’s 2021 short film TakTakShoo, composer Rene Orth’s fusion of opera and K-pop, marimba, electronics, and dance, that creates an eclectic sound and movement world. With a libretto by playwright Kanika Ambrose, the film stars mezzo-soprano Kristen Choi as an energizing life force inviting people to come into the world anew and is directed by Emmy Award-nominated director and choreographer Jeffrey L. Page.
Opera Philadelphia, the only American finalist for both the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Opera Company and the 2020 International Opera Award for Best Festival, is “the very model of a modern opera company” (Washington Post). Committed to developing opera for the 21st century, the company is recognized as “a hotbed of operatic innovation” (New York Times).
- Genre Opera
- Director Johnathan McCullough
- Released 2022
- Runtime 1hr 20min