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NY PREMIERE
My Lai
Sep 27—Sep 30, 2017
 
Music | Theater

Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert & Vân-Ánh Võ
Music by Jonathan Berger
Libretto by Harriet Scott Chessman

 

On March 16, 1968, in South Vietnam, US Army pilot Hugh Thompson, Jr. nosed his helicopter down three times into the carnage at My Lai in an attempt to stop the civilian massacre. In this fevered character study of the once-vilified, now-lionized soldier, composer Jonathan Berger enlists Southeast Asian zithers and xylophones and an amplified Kronos Quartet to consider the line between duty and conscience. Tenor Rinde Eckert portrays the latter-day Thompson, who—in a manic barrage of soldier speak, gritty poetry, and hallucinatory recollection—reflects on a decisive moment when breaking rank in the name of human decency forever changed the public perception of a war.

 

Direction and set design by Mark DeChiazza and Rinde Eckert
Video projection design by Mark DeChiazza
Lighting design by Brian H. Scott

Commissioned by Harris Theater for Music and Dance with support from the Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz Artistic Innovation Fund and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gerbode-Hewlett Foundations 2013 Music Commissioning Awards initiative, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 
 
RUN TIME
1hr 15min
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ACCESSIBILITY
Balcony seating is only accessible by 70 stairs.
“Gripping”
— CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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Archives Feat Collection Kronos
LEON LEVY BAM DIGITAL ARCHIVE
Featured Collection: Kronos Quartet
Browse richly detailed entries on all of Kronos Quartet's BAM productions, plus a selection of photos, artifacts, and ephemera from the BAM Hamm Archives.
Blog
Shining Light on My Lai
On March 16, 1968, US Army pilot Hugh Thompson and his crew were flying on a reconnaissance mission over the South Vietnamese village of My Lai when he spotted the bodies of men, women, and children strewn across the fields. Over the course of a few frantic hours, Thompson tried to halt the carnage.
My lai Blog
My Lai
Article
My Lai Pilot Hugh Thompson
The life and death of the once-reviled, now revered, Army helicopter pilot.
Article
How to Write About a Massacre
Harriet Scott Chessman, a first-time librettist, finally grasps her mother’s emotional response to opera.
My Lai
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