"Fallujah," produced by the Long Beach Opera under the direction of Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek, is a modern opera inspired by the real-life story of United States Marine Corp Sergeant Christian Ellis whose platoon was ambushed and bombed, killing many of his fellow soldiers and leaving him with a broken back. With the encouragement and support of philanthropist Charles Annenberg Weingarten, Ellis collaborated with Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo to transform his demons into a work of art aimed at shining a light on the aftermath of war, PTSD, and the fragility of life.
With a score composed by Tobin Stokes, "Fallujah" is an adrenaline-fueled lyrical opera, in which poignant melodies soar against driving rhythms and threads, ranging from electric guitar to Iraqi oud. The opera was underwritten by Explore.org and initially aired live on KCET in March. "Fallujah Live" was directed by Emmy Award® winning television producer/director Kenneth Shapiro (The Academy Awards® and The Grammy Awards®).