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Bodhi Tree Concerts Brings ‘All Is Calm’ Back To Veterans Museum

Choral opera looks to Christmas Truce of 1914

Photo credit: Bodhi Tree Concerts

Walter DuMelle, Michael Sokol, and Jonathan Nussman in Bodhi Tree Concerts' 2016 production of "All is Calm" at the Veterans Museum.

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Bodhi Tree Concerts has smartly placed its production of “All is Calm” between Veteran’s Day and Christmas since the choral opera touches on both themes.

Aired: November 14, 2019 | Transcript

Bodhi Tree Concerts has smartly placed its production of “All is Calm” between Veteran’s Day and Christmas since the choral opera touches on both themes.

Bodhi Tree Concerts has a mission to perform intentional acts of kindness through music. At a time when America seems polarized, “All is Calm” serves up a story of enemies coming together to find a shared humanity.

"Because the news of the day is pretty rough and we look to these soldiers who were sworn enemies they were killing each other and they could find a common humanity and they found it through singing through music." said Bodhi Tree Concerts co-founder Diana DuMelle. "And for us as individuals and us as an organization, Bodhi Tree Concerts it’s what we're founded on, finding enlightenment and understanding through music."

Reported by Beth Accomando , Video by Roland Lizarondo

“All is Calm” recounts the Christmas Truce of 1914 when enemy soldiers were brought together by song in no man's land during World War I. After partnering with San Diego Opera last December to do the show at the Balboa Theater, this year Bodhi Tree is going solo and returning to a smaller venue.

"We will be returning to our venue for the first two productions of the Veterans Museum," said singer and co-founder Walter DuMelle. "Much more intimate space holds 150-200 people only, the artists will be feet from the first row of audience. So you will be right there in the trenches with the soldiers. So it's a very immediate performance venue and there's an immediate emotional connection to the audience, which we as artists also have to be mindful of because we see their reactions literally right in front of us. When you see a 80-something-year-old vet start to choke up in the middle of 'Auld Lang Syne' you do have to check a certain amount of your own emotion at the door realizing that the piece is serving its purpose."

Bodhi Tree Concerts selects a charity or organization to donate profits to and fittingly money from this show will benefit the Veterans Museum.

"It's a really special museum," Diana DuMelle said. "If you haven't been there I highly recommend it. It's lovingly cared for and it also has a local lens. It's the stories and artifacts that come from local families and local veterans, and it's also run by veterans and most of them are volunteers. And it's really touching to be there and they welcome us with open arms."

All is Calm” opens this weekend at the Veteran’s Museum and then moves to The Village Church for a performance on Nov. 23.

Here is the video story from the co-production with San Diego Opera last December.

Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

Reported by Beth Accomando, Roland Lizarondo

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