Backstage at San Francisco Opera > September 2011 > Heart of a Soldier Libretto Inspirations
Heart of a Soldier Libretto Inspirations
Besides reading and re-reading the book Heart of a Soldier by James B. Stewart, I took inspiration from a variety of other sources. Here are just some of the additional works that lent their weight as I wrote the libretto.




For the Vietnam section, I was haunted by Yusef Komunyakaa's poem Facing It and, of course, Tim O' Brien's iconic book The Things They Carried, which echoes in a duet using Dan's own words to his grieving friend, "It's too heavy for anyone to carry." [Below: Yusef Komunyakaa reads his own poem, Facing It]
War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges
From Chivalry to Terrorism: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity by Leo Braudy
United States Army Field Manual
The Secrets of Training as a Navy Seal
 The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Qur’an
The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling  
[Right: Rudyard Kipling]
Terrence Malick's 1998 film, The Thin Red Line [Below: The theatrical trailer for The Thin Red Line]
The 9-11 Commission Report [The complete report is available online]
Posted: 9/12/2011 4:12:12 PM by Donna Di Novelli (Librettist, Heart of a Soldier)
Filed under: HeartOfASoldier, text


Backstage at San Francisco Opera is a fascinating, fast-moving, mysterious and sacred space for the Company’s singers, musicians, dancers, technicians and production crews. Musical and staging rehearsals are on-going, scenery is loaded in and taken out, lighting cues are set, costumes and wigs are moved around and everything is made ready to receive the audience. From the principal singers, chorus and orchestra musicians to the creative teams for each opera, in addition to the many talented folks who don’t take a bow on stage, this blog offers unique insight, both thought-provoking and light-hearted, into the life backstage at San Francisco Opera.


Blog postsRSS