the long walk

chamber opera in two acts
(2012-2015, rev. 2016) | 120"

 

libretto by STEPHANIE FLEISCHMANN
based on The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life that Follows by BRIAN CASTNER
commissioned by American Lyric Theater | LAWRENCE EDELSON, Producing Artistic Director

The Long Walk is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq, where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. Upon returning from the war, Brian Castner battles what he calls “the Crazy” as he struggles to reintegrate into his family life.


Upcoming Productions

NEW PRODUCTION
January 20-28, 2018 | Pittsburgh Opera | Pittsburgh, PA
more info

Past Productions

WORLD PREMIERE
July 10-25, 2015 | Opera Saratoga | Saratoga Springs, NY
more info

WESTERN US PREMIERE / PREMIERE OF REVISED VERSION
March 31-April 1, 2017 | Utah Opera | Salt Lake City, UT
more info

"My Grandmother Said" from the Prologue of THE LONG WALK

HEATHER JOHNSON (mezzo-soprano)
DJORDJE NESIC (piano)
TAYLOR LEVINE (electric guitar)
STEVEN OSGOOD, conductor

This aria is available for purchase (mezzo-soprano and piano).

And while Beck’s music for THE LONG WALK is not strictly tonal, it has a fierceness, an almost frightening volatility, that aims for the gut and hits it... This is haunting, haunted stuff. But there’s a long tradition of ghosts in the operatic canon (see: DON GIOVANNI), and another long tradition of mulling what it means to live and fend off madness. THE LONG WALK may focus on the experience of one ordnance expert from Buffalo, but its narrative hits on all that makes us human.

... This is what art does or should do: tell an intimate story that resonates universally. It shows us who we are. And THE LONG WALK, for all its death and trauma, portrays us as survivors, suffering but pressing ahead, pounding the pavement on a long run toward normalcy. It ends on a note of resilience and light that answers the darkness of that first act.

On Friday, the crowd rose to its feet with whoops and cheers. They were grateful they stayed past intermission, and so was I.
— Amy Biancolli for the Albany Times-Union

Selected Press and Reviews

The New York Times: An Iraq Veteran's Homecoming, with Arias
Opera News: Review - The Long Walk at Opera Saratoga
The Times Union: No, The Long Walk is not your typical opera
NPR: A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps to the Stage

Perusal Materials

ONE-PAGE INFO SHEET (PDF)

LIBRETTO (PDF)

SCORES

FULL SCORE, ACT 1 (PDF)
FULL SCORE, ACT 2 (PDF)
VOCAL SCORE (PDF)

Full Score and Parts prepared by Maslanka Music Preparation
Piano reduction for Vocal Score prepared by Trudy Chan | Black Tea Music

Licensing

Performance licensing and materials rental for The Long Walk are administered by American Lyric Theater.

Please click here for more information about performing The Long Walk.


Rôles

BRIAN CASTNER (baritone) — a returned Iraq veteran, served as EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit captain, home for almost two years | DANIEL BELCHER
JESSIE CASTNER (mezzo-soprano) — Brian's wife, an ER nurse | HEATHER JOHNSON
THEIR 3 SONS (trebles) — VIRGIL (10), MARTIN (7), SAMUEL (5) | ROBERT WESLEY HILL,       ERICH SCHUETT, HENRY WAGER
CASTLEMAN (tenor) — soldier in Brian's unit | JAVIER ABREU
RICKY (tenor) — soldier in Brian's unit | DAVID BLALOCK
JEFF (bass-baritone) — soldier in BRIAN's unit | JUSTIN HOPKINS
IRAQI WOMAN / SHRINK / AUNT SARAH (soprano) | CAROLINE WORRA
IRAQI WOMAN / PERNEATHA / YOGINI (soprano) | DONITA VOLKWIJN

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION TEAM

Conductor: STEVEN OSGOOD
Director: DAVID SCHWEIZER
Scenic Designer: MIMI LIEN
Costume Designer: NANCY LEARY
Lighting Designer: JEFF BRUCKERHOFF
 

Instrumentation

flute (=piccolo)
clarinet in Bb (=bass clarinet in Bb)

2 horns in F
2 trumpets in C (both=piccolo trumpet in Bb)
trombone
bass trombone

piano (=synthesizer, football ratchet)
percussion (1 player)
2 electric guitars

2 violins*
viola*
cello*
contrabass* (=electric bass guitar)

* It is strongly recommended that the violins, viola, cello and contrabass be lightly amplified.