Lonesome as the Land (2014)



     The Civil War through the diaries of boy soldiers. Oratorio for 5 narrators, 9 singers and 10 musicians. Violin, fiddle/banjo, wood piccolo, harmonicas, guitar, mandolin, accordion, harmonium, melodica, bass, snare drum. Original music sets the poetry of Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and others. Using traditional period music as well, Lonesome as the Land tells the story of boy soldiers who served in the American Civil War (1861-1865.) Thousands of boys from both the NOrth and the South volunteered, were conscripted, or ran away to join the war, following friends or family members, seeking adventure, inspired by what they blieved to be a just cause.

     The diary entries begin hopefully, describing a search for adventure, relief from chores, and commitment to family ideals. But rather quickly the tone of the boys’ writings takes another turn, describing difficult weather, hunger, boredom, fear and the horrible realizaion of their new reality. Even though children grew up more quickly in the mid-19th century, all the boys still sound like boys—matter of fact, witty, interested in food, longing for families and homes far away.

Premier Performance: January 14, 2015, 7 p.m., Merc Playhouse, Twisp, WA.

Info: 509-996-3418.

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