OPERA...
 

 

THE LONG WALK

 

PAPER DREAMS

Act 1, Jessie's Aria: My Grandmother Said

music by Jeremy Howard Beck
libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann

with
Heather Johnson, mezzo 
Steven Osgood, conductor
Djordje Nesic, piano
Taylor Levine, guitar

first music workshop, American Lyric Theater, NYC, 2012
 

Final scenes from Act 1: Running 2/Parable of the Marbles/Day of 6 VBIEDS/There Are Two of Me Now

music by Jeremy Howard Beck
libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann

with
Daniel Belcher, baritone—Brian
David Blalock, tenor—Ricky
Javier Abreu, tenor—Castleman
Justin Hopkins, bass baritone—Jeff
Caroline Worra, soprano—Screaming Iraqi Woman
Donita Volkwijn, soprano—Screaming Iraqi woman: 

Steven Osgood, conductor
Djordje Nesic, piano
Taylor Levine, Guitar

Second Music Workshop, American Lyric Theater, NYC, 2014

SYNOPSIS: Brian runs in Buffalo, New York, to keep "the Crazy" at bay. Ricky, his friend and running companion (who we learn is a ghost only at the end of the opera), reminds him of what’s precious in the here and now via the parable of the marbles. But Brian, terrified of Jessie’s grandfather’s fate — that of dying at home, in retrospect, of invisible wounds afflicted by the war — can’t stop trying to outrun the Crazy. As he runs, images of war, sonic shards, invade his consciousness. Screaming Iraqi women won’t stop screaming; EOD calls (to defuse bombs) relentlessly keep coming in; boundaries between realities break down. Brian runs from these fractured memories straight into a full-blown memory of Iraq—an encounter with a small crowd of Iraqi women grieving for their murdered children, their keening so powerful that Brian comes close to shooting them just to quiet them. Iraq falls away. Brian is at home, confronting himself in the mirror, gun in hand. He sits at the top of the stairs through the night, guarding his sleeping children.
 

THE MAKING OF THE LONG WALK
presentation at the New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs, 2015
[Airport duet—1:00:41]

music by Jeremy Howard Beck
libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann

with
Heather Johnson, mezzo—Jessie
Daniel Belcher, baritone—Brian
Djordje Nesic, piano

 

PAPER DREAMS: An operatic quartet written for the Composer Librettist Development Program at American Lyric Theater in New York City. Composer: Jeffrey Dennis Smith Librettist: Stephanie Fleischmann. With 3 insomniacs and Henry David Thoreau: Lauren Jelencovitch, soprano; Katherine Pracht, mezzo soprano; Adrienne Danrich, soprano; Justin Hopkins, bass baritone. Leesa Dahl, pianist. Photo: Henry David Thoreau, by Benjamin D Maxham.