THE LONG walk
by Jeremy Howard Beck • January 20, 23, 26 & 28, 2018
Pittsburgh Opera brings a gripping, contemporary American opera to the CAPA Theater in Jeremy Howard Beck’s The Long Walk. With a libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann, The Long Walk is based on the book The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life that Follows by Brian Castner.
The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life.
‘The Long Walk’ is the term for when a bomb disposal expert puts on their bomb suit and walks, alone, towards an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which they must disarm. As Castner explains in an interview, “It is an extremely lonely experience; no one can help you.” However, ‘the long walk’ also refers to the struggle to re-integrate back into your own life upon returning to the United States, a struggle which Castner shares with brutal honesty.
For additional background, view American Lyric Theater’s YouTube video featuring interviews with Beck, Fleischmann, and Castner.
Commissioned by American Lyric Theater in 2012, the opera was developed under the auspices of the Composer Librettist Development Program, and premiered at Opera Saratoga in 2015. The Times Union called it “a daring operatic depiction of war’s aftermath”; another reviewer said it “hits on all that makes us human”.
The Long Walk
Based on the book The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life that Follows, by Brian Castner
Music by Jeremy Howard Beck
Libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann
Commissioned by American Lyric Theater, Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic DirectorWorld Premiere: Opera Saratoga, July 10, 2015
Commission Underwriting and Developmental Support for The Long Walk has been provided by OPERA America/The Opera Fund, The MAP Fund, The New York State Council on the Arts, and The ASCAP Foundation
The Long Walk was developed under the auspices of the Composer Librettist Development Program at American Lyric Theater in New York City, which is made possible through lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
The Artistic Team
Conductor - Glenn Lewis
Stage Director - Frances Rabalais*
Set Designer - Kathryn Fetrow
Lighting Designer - Tlàloc Lopez-Watermann
Wig Master - Nicole Pagano
Stage Manager - Cindy Knight
Asst Lighting Designer/Master Electrician - Todd Nonn
Asst Stage Manager - Lisa-Marie Shuster
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
Listen to Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn give a brief synopsis of The Long Walk featuring an excerpt from the following audio clip, recorded live at the American Lyric Theater's InsightALT Festival in June 2014, courtesy of American Lyric Theater:
- Prologue - sung by Heather Johnson playing the role of Jessie.
Click play below or download these excerpts for an offline treat!
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Understand Every Word: Sung in English with English supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Downtown Parking: get real-time parking availability
- Study guide created by our Education department to be released
- Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
- Audio Description available at CAPA Theater
- Braille Programs available at CAPA Theater
- Large-Print Programs available at CAPA Theater