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WORLD PREMIERE What makes a hero? The question was never an academic one for Rick Rescorla, a British-born adventurer who fought in Vietnam before settling in New York as head of security for a brokerage firm based in the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, his extraordinary courage and calmness in a crisis paid off: Rescorla led all of the 2,700 people under his care to safety—literally singing them down the stairs—before heading back into the burning building for one last check. He never emerged.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks, San Francisco Opera presents the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier, which tells the dramatic story of Rescorla’s extraordinary life. The Company’s latest commission features a dynamic and soulful score by Christopher Theofanidis, “one of the world’s most sought-after living composers” (Seattle Times). Baritone Thomas Hampson, renowned for his “clarion power and burnished tone” (Los Angeles Times), sings the role of Rick Rescorla in this story of enduring friendship and late-found love. Tenor William Burden is Daniel J. Hill, Rescorla’s best friend and fellow soldier, and soprano Melody Moore portrays Susan, Rescorla’s wife and soul mate.

From SFO Website

To visually illustrate  the varied journey of Rick Rescorla’s incredible life, video and projections were used to bring Peter Davison’s set to life.  Projecting on six different surfaces, Tucker transports the audience from Cornwall to Rhodesia to Vietnam and more.  Tucker and her team fluidly shifted the video across multiple surfaces, allowing this opera to utilize the faster pacing of a musical.

Please click on the bottom right video to view the collaborative efforts of S. Katy Tucker and director of photography Steve Condiotti to visually commemorate 9/11.

Project Details

Heart of A Soldier

San Francisco Opera

2011