Commissioned by the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University in association with the Music-Theatre Group
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
1 Hour 40 Minutes
American Repertory Theater
- Notes, Photos, Credits, Press
- story on Crossing
Crossing is an operatic fantasia based on Walt Whitman’s experiences as a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. The opera delves into Whitman’s psyche, exploring what might have led a middle-aged New Yorker to drop everything and work in brutal conditions for years on end. Was it pure generosity, pure selflessness? Or did Whitman feel some need to escape his own life – or to know himself better by putting himself through a Dante-esque challenge?
Once in the hospital, Whitman strikes up a friendship with a volatile young soldier named John Wormley. As the war drags on, their relationship grows deeper and more complicated: Whitman never could have expected either the love or the betrayals that await him.