The Falling and The Rising, a new American opera, is based upon a series of interviews with wounded warriors, active duty Soldiers, and Veterans, and seeks to share the camaraderie and values of Soldiers serving in America’s Army. It tells the story of a Soldier, posted in a conflict overseas, whose world is forever changed by an I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Device) shortly after a video chat with her daughter. The military doctors induce a coma to save her life. In this quasi-dream state, the Soldier envisions another combat veteran during a mandatory therapy session. Unable to communicate, the Soldier experiences but is unable to discuss the Doctor’s update of her condition - a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Later, imagining a conversation with an Army Ranger, she is reminded of the strength and resilience inherent in every Soldier. She then has a vision of a Colonel mourning the loss of his wife; soon after, she meets and takes strength from a Veteran who demonstrates his own recovery to his family’s congregation.
Surrounded by her company near and far, this Soldier finds the strength she needs to go on, to return to her fellow Soldiers and her young daughter.