Saturday, November 16, 2019

Buzz for The Falling and the Rising

From left: Jorell Williams (Homecoming Soldier), Tess Altiveros (Soldier), Elizabeth Galafa (Toledo), Tim Janecke (Jumper). Philip Newton photo

See what the press is saying about Seattle Opera's next chamber work, The Falling and the Rising, which plays Nov. 15–24, 2019 at The Opera Center.


"Perhaps the most gratifying thing about “The Falling and the Rising,” is what it indicates about the company’s priorities. The attention it’s been paying to new work — incisive, relatable, concerned with social issues and intent on bringing underrepresented voices to the opera stage — is no fluke, but a central focus of its mission." [Read more...]
—Gavin Borchert


"The open heart at the core of Seattle Opera’s production of The Falling and the Rising, an intermission-less, 70-minute chamber opera about America’s wounded warriors, had the power to leave numerous audience members and at least two singers in its small, all-veteran chorus in tears." [Read more...]
—Jason Serinus


"Alejandra Valarino Boyer, Seattle Opera's Director of Programs and Partnerships, believes The Falling and the Rising will connect with people who never imagined they’d come to an opera house. She hopes to see a significant presence of active duty service people and veterans in the audiences. 'I keep saying we’ll be really successful if the audience is 50/50, vets and active duty personnel as well as civilians,' she says." [Read more...]
—Marcie Sillman 


"While the opera’s lead roles will be performed by professional singers, the chorus is comprised of veterans from the organization, Path with Art. 'We’re specifically focused on adults who are living in and recovering from all manner of trauma,' explained Path with Art Executive Director Holly Jacobson. 'We provide opportunities for people to reclaim their narratives, connect back to themselves and back to community through the power of art.' The veterans say that as they perform this opera about a soldier’s journey home, they find healing. [Read more...]
—Heather Bosch


"The 'theater of war' refers to the battleground — and the drama, action and tragedy, sometimes choreographed, that happen therein. Here on the heels of Veteran’s Day, the expression also refers to a new chamber opera making its local debut at Seattle Opera. Originally produced in Texas, The Falling and the Rising is based on true stories from returning U.S. soldiers, and features both trained opera singers (outfitted in uniform) and a chorus of local veterans." [Read more...].
—Margo Vansynghel

Tim Janecke (Jumper). Philip Newton photo


"[The Falling and the Rising] continues Seattle Opera’s trend of using its chamber operas to tell more inclusive stories. Previous productions have centered around a transgender woman’s journey, a family impacted by Japanese American incarceration and a queer love story." [Read more...]
Chris Talbott


"Tess Altiveros (who sings the role of the lead soldier), grew up in Seattle and never had much contact with veterans, something that’s increasingly true of the general population. Performing in the opera has given her a better understanding of some of the sacrifices that people who join the military make — such as being away from family. As the opera opens, her character is using her laptop to record a happy birthday message to her 13-year-old daughter back in the States. It’s emotional singing about being a better mother and a better soldier. 'There’s a moment where here come the tears and she has a moment to just fall apart,' says Altiveros, who has a daughter of her own." [Read more...]
—Paula Wissel 
Tess Altiveros (Soldier). Philip Newton photo


"Like their role in this opera, the chorus members themselves are out of the ordinary. Including a mix of ages, genders, ethnicities and physical abilities, they too are military veterans, recruited through Path with Art, a Seattle organization that provides creative opportunities to people in recovery. After music rehearsals of the opera’s climactic 'Anthem' throughout September and October, they’re here today for their first blocking. Their entrances and exits all run smoothly; the only thing that gives them pause is the weirdness of having to follow the conductor, Michael Sakir, on TV monitors, since he and the 11-piece orchestra will be tucked behind the set." [Read more...]
—Gavin Borchert 

KUOW (Video)

"Executive Director of Veterans Rights and creative mentor with Path with Art, Ryan Mielcarek discusses the choir of 'The Falling and the Rising', composed entirely of veterans from the Puget Sound region, along with veteran Melodie Clarke. 'We're also singing for all of our brothers and sisters in service, and those that never came back,' Mielcarek said. 'And those that did come back, but didn't land back into their hearts. We're going to sing for them, and they will be on stage with us.'"
—Megan Farmer

Currently, The Falling and the Rising is sold out. Check back at or call 206.389.7676 on Monday, Nov. 18 to see if seats become available. 

Performances are held at the Opera Center (363 Mercer St.).