Premiere New York Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States
Description Composer Heidi Rodewald, known for her collaborations with Stew on Passing Strange and The Total Bent, strikes out on her own in The Good Swimmer, a “pop requiem” that addresses issues of war, heroism, sacrifice, loss, and idealism. The moody, multi-layered song-cycle for guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, woodwinds, strings, drums, and vocals is performed by a ninepiece band led by singer David Driver. Donna DiNovelli’s libretto is a radical recontextualization of found texts, including a defunct lifesaving manual, and tells the story of a group of lifeguards, who represent the cohort of youths who were sent to Vietnam in the early days of the war. Their shattering experience brings the audience to a galvanizing realization: we truly honor our fallen soldiers only when we defy the political drumbeat of a senseless war.