Heart of a Soldier
Composer: Christopher Theofanidis
Composer Bio: Christopher Theofanidis (b. 12/18/67 in Dallas, Texas) has had performances by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, and California Symphonies, and many others. He also served as Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony during their 2006-2007 Season, for which he wrote a violin concerto for Sarah Chang.

Mr. Theofanidis holds degrees from Yale, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Houston, and has been the recipient of the International Masterprize (hosted at the Barbican Centre in London), the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, six ASCAP Gould Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, a Tanglewood Fellowship, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Fellowship. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, The Here and Now, based on the poetry of Rumi. His orchestral concert work, Rainbow Body, has been one of the most performed new orchestral works of the last ten years, having been performed by over 100 orchestras internationally.

From his website, www.theofanidismusic.com
Librettist: Donna DiNovelli
Librettist Bio: As a librettist and lyricist, Donna DiNovelli’s work has been presented at the New York City Opera, the Public Theater, and Joe’s Pub. Her collaborations with director Francesca Zambello include lyrics for composer Rachel Portman’s 2008 musical Little House on the Prairie and Hildegard: A Measure of Joy, commissioned by the San Francisco Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer. She has also collaborated with Randall Eng for many years, most notably on Florida (New York City Opera; Lyric Opera Cleveland; and a Frederick Loewe Foundation Reading, directed by David Herskovits). DiNovelli has written text for the Los Angeles Modern Dance and Ballet (Twelve Dancing Princesses) and has been invited to the National Musical Theater Conference, the Mac Dowell Colony, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her stage play, The First Eff (Mark Taper Forum) was excerpted in New Monologues For Women; by Women (Heinemann Press). She has won commissions and fellowships from the Manhattan Theater Club, ASCAP, Mabou Mines, Houston Grand Opera, and the BBC. Besides teaching in the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she teaches playwriting at the O’Neill Theater Center and was a visiting professor at Brown University, where she earned a master’s degree in fine arts working with Paula Vogel. She is working on a new opera with Paola Prestini which will be excerpted at NYCO's Vox festival in the spring; and a new musical with Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange).
Other Artistic Personnel: Patrick Summers (conductor)
Francesca Zambello (stage director)
Peter J. Davison (set designer)
Jess Goldstein (costume designer)
Mark McCullough (lighting designer)
S. Katy Tucker (projection designer)
Ian Robertson (chorus director)
Rick Sordelet (movement director)
Original Cast: Thomas Hampson (Rescorla)
Melody Moore (Susan)
William Burden (Dan Hill)
Premiere Date: September 11, 2011
Description: "A story of war, love, friendship and heroism, Heart of a Soldier reflects on the extraordinary true story of Rick Rescorla, a man trained to be a consummate warrior who gave up his own life saving thousands in the attacks on September 11, 2001. Inspired by the American soldiers he saw as a boy in Cornwall, England preparing to launch the Normandy invasion on what became D-Day, and his adult friendship with American fighting man Dan Hill, whom he meets in war-torn Rhodesia, Rescorla emigrates to the United States in the early 1960s to become a soldier and a “Yank,” ultimately becoming a decorated platoon leader during the Vietnam War.

On September 11, 2001, as head of security for Morgan Stanley at Two World Trade Center, Rescorla is thrown to the floor when United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower. Amidst the unimaginable chaos that ensues, Rescorla uses his commanding presence and booming voice to literally sing his colleagues down smoke-filled stairs and out of the building. While he successfully evacuates all of his company’s 2,700 employees from the South Tower before it collapses, Rescorla makes the ultimate sacrifice when he goes back into the building to search for stragglers. Heart of a Soldier is an opera about a hero who disdains that very term, and about his deep friendship with an American soldier, so unlike him in approach and yet so similar in dedication and bravery."
-San Francisco's Press Release
Comments: This opera commemorates the events of 9/11 and will premiere on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.
Length: 02:45
Total Acts: Not Available
Contact: San Francisco Opera
Address: 301 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
E-mail Address: webmaster@sfopera.com
Phone: (415) 861-4008
Composer Web Site: http://www.theofanidismusic.com/
Publisher Web Site: http://sfopera.com/
Schedule of Performances Listings
Heart of a Soldier (Theofanidis)
Saturday, September 10, 2011 - San Francisco Opera
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