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Bodhi Tree Concerts: ‘The Falling and the Rising’

April 21, 20246 AM PT

When San Diego Opera canceled its planned San Diego premiere of the contemporary opera “The Falling and the Rising” last year, Bodhi Tree Concerts came to its rescue.




Founded in 2012 by Diana and Walter DuMelle, Bodhi Tree presents an annual season of concerts and contemporary operas that benefit local charitable organizations.


“As a native San Diegan, the daughter of a veteran and having grown up in Point Loma just blocks away from the military bases, servicemen and servicewomen were and are an everyday and inspirational fact of life,” says Diana DuMelle, who serves as Bodhi Tree’s co-artistic director with her husband, Walter. “I saw first-hand the sacrifice of not only those who served but also of their families. ‘The Falling and the Rising’ is special in several ways — first because it is told through the perspective of a woman — a soldier, mother and wife.


“Second because the characters in the opera are based on real soldiers and their real experiences. The creators spent hundreds of hours interviewing recovering soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center. We feel a responsibility but mostly honored to bring ‘The Falling and the Rising’ to this military town for the first time.”


“The Falling and the Rising” is about a female soldier who is wounded by a roadside bomb and placed in an induced coma. Deep in sedation, the soldier must embark upon an imagined journey home. In her dreamscape, she encounters fellow service members who, like her, find themselves in search of connection, consciousness and hope.


The opera was written by composer Zach Redler and librettist Jerre Dye and conceived in 2015 by Sgt. Benjamin Hilgert, a tenor in the Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus, who performed in the opera’s 2018 world premiere.

Hilgert will join the Bodhi Tree cast, which includes Christine Taylor-Price, Emily Weinberg, DeAndre Simmons, and Walter DuMelle. The production will be directed by Kym Pappas with music direction by Karen Keltner. The opera will be presented at 7 p.m. May 10, 11 and 12 at Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St., Point Loma.

Tickets are $25-$60, with all proceeds will benefit Veterans Village San Diego. Visit bodhitreeconcerts.org.

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