I1LR4BqpTH2Qk-IboxCtu4sm6yR5roBR_aeGZeJIdPUBy Martha Nodar

Atlanta Opera debuts composer David Little’s “Soldier Songs,” a rock-infused American chamber opera depicting the realistic experiences of soldiers, and brings it to Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts as part of its Discoveries Series. The event opens on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, and runs through Nov. 15.

Tomer Zvulun, Atlanta Opera’s general and artistic director and Midtown resident, said the mission of the Discoveries Series is to “encourage civic discussions and to bring pieces that are less mainstream to different parts of the city.”

Such is the case with “Soldier Songs,” whose libretto renders it a nontraditional American opera consisting of vignettes adapted from interviews Little conducted with American war veterans and supported by a musical score that includes rock.

A solo singer and performer, baritone Matthew Worth will give a voice to the vignettes by playing multiple soldiers from different wars: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

“The text from these interviews is very moving,” said percussionist Stuart Gerber, Georgia State University’s associate professor of music. “It describes the experiences of these soldiers in a real way. It brings it home.”

Gerber, who will play the drums, said a chamber ensemble of seven instrumentalists including himself, will provide the musical score to support the text.

Following each performance, a panel of American war veterans will discuss their own experiences on stage.

Due to its mature content, the event, which marks the first collaboration between Atlanta Opera and Rialto, is not recommended for children younger than 16.

To purchase tickets and to find more information, visit atlantaopera.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.