Music by Zach Redler

Libretto by Jerre Dye

Dedicated to Sergeant First Class Ben Hilgert

Co-Commissioned by Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Memphis, TCU, Seagle Music Colony and US Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus


The Falling and the Rising centers around a strong female hero known only as “Soldier”. After sending a video message home on the eve of her daughter’s thirteenth birthday, the Soldier is severely wounded by a roadside IED. Doctors quickly place her in an induced coma to help minimize the extensive trauma to her brain. The Soldier must now make an arduous journey towards both healing and home. In this quasi-dream state, The Soldier envisions another combat veteran during a brain injury, but in her comatose state she cannot respond. 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, the Soldier finds the strength she needs to go on — to return to her fellow soldiers and to her young daughter.

This Soldier’s odyssey was created in hopes of capturing the indomitable spirit of our U.S. military veterans and to shed light on the inspirational power of their often overlooked stories. The Falling and the Rising is a story of family, service, and sacrifice inside a period of great uncertainty.


Zach Redler


Jerre Dye

Librettist and Director

Emily Jarrell Urbanek

Music Director