March 22, 2002 | San Francisco Opera
The Difficulty of Crossing a Field
Composer:David Lang
Librettist:Marc Wellman
Synopsis
A slave owner in the pre-civil war American South walks across his field and disappears, in plain view of his family, his neighbors and his slaves, forever altering the relationships among them. Everyone around him has his or her own sharp view of what that disappearance means, of why it had to happen, and of what will happen now that there is a "hole" where a man used to be. Based on a one page story by the writer Ambrose Bierce, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field was commissioned by Carey Perloff and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. It was intended to cross between opera and theater worlds, mixing arias with spoken text, emotional melodies with intense drama. It is written for 5 principals and a chorus of 6 or more slaves, and the accompaniment is for string quartet on stage, both as the "orchestra" and as part of the set.

Productions
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COMPANYTITLEDATES
Portland OperaThe Difficulty of Crossing a Field7/28/2017 - 7/28/2017
Long Beach OperaThe Difficulty of Crossing a Field6/6/2014 - 6/28/2014
Long Beach OperaThe Difficulty of Crossing a Field6/6/2011 - 6/18/2011


OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
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GRANT NAMEYEAR
New Works Exploration Grants2013
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2012

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)
01:15

Original Cast
Julia Migenes
Anika Noni Rose


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