San Diego Opera In Conjuction With Bodhi Tree Concerts and SACRA/PROFANA Presents
All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914
By Peter Rothstein
Musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach
At the Balboa Theatre
Based on real-life events during World War I along the Western Front when soldiers from France, England, and Germany ventured into no-man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Soldiers exchanged food and gifts, swapped prisoners and performed burials, and played football and sang Christmas carols. The truce was unofficial and unsanctioned and soldiers were ordered back to fight for another bloody four years.
A beautifully profound A Capella chamber opera, All Is Calm is a testament to humanity and unity, and features text from letters from soldiers who lived through war alongside familiar holiday and military music from the countries engaged in battle in World War I. This family-friendly production is new to San Diego Opera and is a co-presentation with Bodhi Tree Concerts and SACRA/PROFANA, featuring local talent and directed by the newly appointed Director of Opera Theatre in partnership with SDSU, Alan E. Hicks.
Production Support provided by Sigrid Pate.
Please join us one hour before each performance for a pre-opera lecture by Dr. Nicolas Reveles.
The approximate run time is 70 minutes with no intermission.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
All Is Calm: Meet Conductor Juan Carlos Acosta
Juan Carlos Acosta has a long-standing relationship with San Diego Opera, as a student at our Student Dress Rehearsals, as a subscriber, as a member of the San Diego Opera Chorus and now as conductor of our upcoming production: All Is Calm. In this interview he talks about the challenges of keeping a 16-member all-male chorus on track (and on pitch!) without the presence of an orchestra or some kind of instrumental accompaniment. This unique opera has got Juan Carlos and our Dr. Nic very excited about upcoming opening on December 7. Enjoy!
Monday, August 6, 2018
All Is Calm: Interview with David Bennett
All Is Calm, a production originally conceived by Theatre Latte Da in Minneapolis, is a choral opera about a true story: the Christmas Eve cease fire in 1914, when the Allies and German troops in the trenches spent a few hours at peace, singing their favorite carols, sharing stories and even playing a soccer match. In this interview General Director David Bennett talks about the origins of this production from Bodhi Tree Concerts and the involvement of the choral group Sacra Profana. Enjoy!
ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914
The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song: a German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing Stille Nacht (Silent Night). Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace. During the early months of WWI on the battle fields in Belgium, thousands of men put down their guns and left the protection of trenches to meet their enemies in “no man’s land”. They exchanged gifts of tobacco, rum and chocolates, even photographs of loved ones. They sang songs, played a game of soccer, and buried each other’s dead. Upon orders from above, they eventually returned to their trenches and re-instigated a brutal war that would last four more years. The retelling of this story reminds us of the atrocities of war, our common humanity and for a few brief moments, the hope of a peaceful future.
The music ranges from trench songs to patriotic and sentimental tunes, as well as Christmas music from the participating countries. The text is taken from a wide range of sources including letters, journals, official war documents, poetry, grave stone inscriptions – even an old radio broadcast.
TODO ESTÁ EN CALMA: LA TREGUA DE NAVIDAD DE 1914
Frente del Oeste, 1914. De la violencia un silencio emerge, y después una canción: un soldado alemán entra en la Tierra de Nadie cantando Stille Nach (Noche de Paz, Noche de Amor en español). Así comienza una extraordinaria noche de camaradería, música y paz. Durante los primeros meses de la Primera Guerra Mundial en los campos de batalla de Bélgica, miles de hombres depusieron sus armas y dejaron la protección de las trincheras para encontrarse con sus enemigos en la “Tierra de Nadie”. Intercambiaron regalos de tabaco, ron y chocolates, incluso fotografías de los seres queridos. Cantaron canciones, jugaron un partido de fútbol, y enterraron los muertos del otro bando. Al llegar órdenes de arriba, eventualmente volvieron a sus trincheras, y reiniciaron una guerra brutal que duraría cuatro años más. El contar otra vez esta historia nos recuerda las atrocidades de la guerra, nuestra humanidad en común, y por unos pocos breves momentos la esperanza de un futuro de paz.
La música comprende desde canciones de trinchera hasta canciones sentimentales y patrióticas, como así también canciones de Navidad de los países participantes. El texto es tomado de una gran variedad de fuentes incluyendo cartas, diarios íntimos, documentos oficiales de la guerra, poesía, inscripciones de lápidas –incluso un viejo programa de radio.
Traducción del inglés al español: Ana C. Martínez y Claudio Luchina