Tobin Stokes / Heater Raffo
Fallujah

About

WORLD PREMIERE
Live broadcast by KCET - watch broadcast below. 

Libretto by Heather Raffo, Story Consultant Christian Ellis

Operas take on the grandest themes: love, violence, betrayal and battles. That's why Andreas Mitisek, the director of Long Beach, became interested in staging a new opera set during the most recent Iraq war and its aftermath. This small, innovative company is known for site-specific work, so Mitisek decided to mount the world premiere of Fallujah at a National Guard Armory. A Humvee dominates the stage. The ushers wear military uniforms.

"Instead of sitting in a cushy theater and just being safe and going out for drinks, you are sitting on the floor of a drill hall where these people train to go to war," Mitisek explained shortly before a recent rehearsal in Long Beach. "So here, we're telling a story about their experience once they leave that hall." –– NPR 

Fallujah was originally commissioned by City Opera Vancouver in 2010 – 2012, with the generous support of The Annenberg Foundation and explore.org, and at the initiative of Charles Annenberg Weingarten.

Reviews

Long Beach Opera's 'Fallujah' tackles the Iraq war with authentic anguish. In almost every way "Fallujah" is Long Beach Opera at its unique best, bringing awareness through heightened emotion in ways only opera can. Its theatrical immediacy can leave you numb, and suffering well served is no small thing. You exit the armory shaken and righteously angry.

...a powerful return to the battlefield. The decision to place the action of “Fallujah” on a raised stage inside an Army National Guard Armory makes a powerful statement. The action is bathed in projections that include photographs taken by Marines in Fallujah and nightmarish artwork created specifically for the production by a pair of PTSD-suffering Iraq war vets — Jon Harguindeguy and Michael Hebert. The brilliantly executed set design and projections are the creation of Andreas Mitisek, lighting designer Dan Weingarten and video artist Hana S. Kim.

Credits

New York City Opera  2016 

LaMarcus Miller  Philip
Suzan Hanson  Colleen
Todd Stange  Taylor
Arnold Livingston Geis  Corpsman
Gregorio González  Lalo
Jason Switzer  Rocks
Zeffin Quinn Hollis  Kassim
Jonathan Lacayo  Wissam
Ani Maldjian  Shatha

Kristof Van Grysperre  Conductor
Hana S. Kim  Video Designer
Dan Weingarten  Light Designer
Jon Harguindeguy  Art Designer/Consultant
Mike Herbert  Art Designer/Consultant

Long Beach Opera  2016 

National Guard Armory, Long Beach

LaMarcus Miller  Philip
Suzan Hanson  Colleen
Todd Stange  Taylor
Arnold Livingston Geis  Corpsman
Gregorio González  Lalo
Jason Switzer  Rocks
Zeffin Quinn Hollis  Kassim
Jonathan Lacayo  Wissam
Ani Maldjian  Shatha

Kristof Van Grysperre  Conductor
Hana S. Kim  Video Designer
Dan Weingarten  Light Designer
Jon Harguindeguy  Art Designer/Consultant
Mike Herbert  Art Designer/Consultant

Photos

New York City Opera 2016

Fallujah NYCO
Fallujah NYCO
Fallujah NYCO
Fallujah NYCO

Long Beach Opera 2016

Fallujah - Andreas Mitisek, Tobin Stokes, Heather Raffo, Christian Ellis
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
Fallujah - National Guard Armory Long Beach
2017-04/1493325331_la-et-fallujah-molina7

Photographers: Keith Ian Polakoff / Joseph Kover / Genaro Molina


Video