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San Diego Opera Debuts Performance Dedicated To Veterans

Reported by Christopher Maue

The San Diego Opera debuts Soldier Songs, an opera dedicated to telling the stories of veterans from several conflicts. The performances are also seen as a way of helping veterans in the audience tell their stories.

The San Diego Opera wants to connect with veterans, so they're rolling out a new production in time for Veteran's Day.

"Soldier Songs" tells the story of actual veterans from World War II and Vietnam to the Cold War. Each performance will be followed by a discussion where vets in the audience can tell their story.

Davey Lind is a retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant who lost both legs in Iraq. He says he appreciates the attempt to connect to veterans.

“When it comes to the extremes of combat – life and death situations – it’s very difficult to find someone who you can have an honest conversation with," Lind said. "Where you can talk and be heard and not judged. And be understood.”

"Soldier Songs" was created by David T. Little, who used stories from his own relatives. The idea came to him while talking to a high school friend who was going off to fight in Iraq. He said he was struck by how people who were so similar could end up leading such very different lives.

This is the West Coast premiere of the opera, which debuted 10 years ago in Pittsburg. There will be three performances, starting on November 11, Veterans Day.

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Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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