Backstage at San Francisco Opera > August 2011 > Touched by a Hero
Touched by a Hero

Susan Rescorla is the widow of Rick Rescorla, the subject of our upcoming world premiere opera, Heart of a Soldier. Readers have already gotten to know a bit about Susan from Melody Moore, the soprano who will be portraying Susan onstage. Susan is now in San Francisco and preparing to see the opera about her husband's life for the very first time on Saturday. These are some of Susan's own words about the hero that she knew and loved.

Click on the icon below to view a video of Susan Rescorla speaking about Rick and the process that created the book by James B. Stewart that became the opera Heart of a Soldier.

Susan Rescorla recently published her own book, Touched by a Hero, A 9/11 Widow's Journal of Love & Legacy. The book explores the transformation of her personal tragedy into a story of patriotism, and is a testament to the healing power of an international community dedicated to preserving the legacy of a genuine American hero. The following is an excerpt from Touched by a Hero. [Below: Rick and Susan Rescorla. Photo courtesy of Susan Rescorla.]

Rick maintained his connections with family and friends in Cornwall and visited frequently. When the news of his role in 9/11 surfaced, it spread quickly. His singing during the evacuation of the South Tower of not only God Bless America, but also Cornish songs, including Men of Cornwall, added to the pride of his countrymen. Mervyn Sullivan, Rick’s childhood friend, was not surprised to learn of Rick’s singing in the midst of the attacks:

“The Cornish will, as they say, Strike Up and start singing at any excuse to do so. There is a tremendously close comradeship amongst us. We feel our homeland of Cornwall is a separate nation, and by joining together in song this bond is made even stronger. It's a kind of unique rebelliousness and sends out a warning that we will not be put down by any would-be challenger. This expresses itself in any situation, whether it’s a time of joy or celebration and especially at a time of trouble and grief. It is a way of self-motivation and summing up courage for the challenge ahead. So, as a Cornishman, I fully understand why Rick broke into song to encourage and lead his troops in Vietnam, and again when he was stimulated to lead on 9/11. Singing . . . it was a deep inbred emotion coming to the fore Onen hag Oll (for one and all.) . . .

Touched by a Hero is for sale at the San Francisco Opera Shop.

Posted: 9/2/2011 10:49:15 AM by Susan Rescorla (Real-life Widow of Rick Rescorla, Heart of a Soldier)


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