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Chicago Opera Theater (COT), Chicago’s foremost producer of new and reimagined opera, kicks off its 50th Anniversary season with David T. Little’s GRAMMY-nominated Soldier Songs, a haunting, heavy-metal infused theatrical cantata about the psychological impact of war. The one-man show will feature internationally acclaimed and Illinois based baritone Nathan Gunn as Nameless Soldier. Audience members can enhance the experience with a VIP ticket which includes access to premium reserved cabaret table seating during the performance, and an exclusive post-show reception with Nathan Gunn and David T. Little. Proceeds from the sale of VIP tickets directly support COT’s mission to develop and present new opera. Conducted by Chicago Opera Theater Elizabeth Morse and Genius Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya, this one-night only event takes place Thursday, October 5 at 7:00 PM at Epiphany Center for the Arts 201 S Ashland Ave. Tickets are available at chicagooperatheater.org.
Despite being a prominent name in contemporary opera, David T. Little’s works have not often been seen on local stages. COT’s Chicago premiere of Soldier Songs marks the first time a professional company in Chicago will perform a David T. Little operatic work. Serving as both composer and librettist, Little drew on the experiences of veterans of five different wars from his family and circle of friends to craft Soldier Songs. Little’s recorded conversations with these veterans serve not only as a basis for the work’s libretto but are also featured in the electronic components of the score. Presented in three stages of a soldier’s life- Youth, Warrior, and Elder- and moved forward by driving heavy metal inspired music, the result is a bold examination of the trauma of war, the exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty many veterans experience in talking about their service. COT will offer free and discounted tickets to veterans and active military personnel in order to expand access for those in our community most impacted by war.
Star of operatic and musical theater stages alike, Illinois’ own GRAMMY-award winning baritone Nathan Gunn will take on the monumental task of performing the only role in Soldier Songs. Known for his stunning voice and dramatic commitment to roles that range from comedic to deeply tragic, all of Gunn’s talents will be on display in this vocally and emotionally demanding character. In the orchestra, Lidiya Yankovskaya will deftly preside over a unique ensemble; an amplified septet made up of cello, clarinet, flute, keyboard, piano, violin, and percussion.
Chicago Opera Theater’s Soldier Songs is one night only, Thursday, October 5 at 7:00 PM. General admission tickets are $60 and VIP tickets are $175 and are available for purchase at chciagooperatheater.org. VIP tickets include reserved cabaret style seating and exclusive access to a post-show reception with Nathan Gunn and David T. Little.
Discounted tickets are available for season subscribers as well as active military personnel. A limited number of free tickets are available to veterans through Vet Tix.
Soldier Songs is a 60-minute production presented without intermission. It is sung in English with English supertitles.