The Falling and The Rising

Petite Opera Productions tells true soldiers stories with The Falling and The Rising

The Falling and The Rising is an exciting new American opera that salutes the service and sacrifice of military service men and women by telling true soldiers stories. Based on interviews with military veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, Bethesda Hospital and Ft. Meade, the opera 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 sacrificed inside a period of great uncertainty.

The opera 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, our soldier is severely wounded by a roadside IED. Doctors quickly place her in a medically-induced coma to help minimize the extensive trauma to her brain. We follow as she makes her way through a miraculous coma-induced dreamscape punctuated with the lives of other fellow service members, each on their own individual journey toward healing and home. Together, they must move toward clarity, comfort, consciousness, and communal hope during a time of adversity.

The opera’s mission is to connect civilians and military through untold soldiers stories—to raise awareness of emotional trauma experienced by those who serve and protect us, and to start the healing process for veterans and active-duty military by sharing the stories they are often unable to share.

ARTISTS AND STAFFThe Falling and The Rising
November 2019
Music by: Zach Redler
Libretto by: Jerre Dye
Conceived by: SFC Ben Hilgert of the U.S. Army

Managing Executive Director: Susan Baushke
Music Director: Qiyun Dai
Resident Stage Director: Cathy Dunn
Directors of Production: Steven Arvanites, Susan Baushke
Resident Stage Manager: Nicole Verive
Resident Lighting Director: Elizabeth Sklena
Resident Costume Designer: Sienna Kusek


Soldier: Carla Janzen; Mary Lutz-Govertsen
Toledo: Sarah Ponder
Jumper: Nathan Oakes
Colonel: Dorian McCall
Homecoming Soldier: Brandon Sokol

Members of Military Veterans Chorus:
Laura Finnelly, Earl Holtz, Ron Kobeluch, Bill Kwaak, Thomas Love, Ramona Pozek, Marvin Schnabel, John Van Alstin

“I’ve been a military veteran for over 60 years, and this is the first production that truly told the stories of what we went through.”
— a veteran from the Battle of the Bulge, after seeing The Falling and The Rising.


$30 Adults | $27 Seniors | $25 Military | $15 Students | $5 Preschool

Payment Options

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Reserve your tickets now and pay at the Box Office on the performance date with cash, check, or credit card. (No credit card numbers accepted over the phone).

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Prepaid online credit card purchases, and reservations accepted until 4 hours before show time. After that point, please bring cash, or credit card with you to the Box Office.


The Mary Wilson House-Beyer Auditorium
part of St. Mary’s Episcopal church campus
306 S Prospect Ave (at Crescent Ave)
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Handicapped accessible

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