The opera is based on an 1888 Ambrose Bierce story of the same name. It's about a slave owner in the pre-civil war American South who walks across his field and disappears, in plain view of his family, his neighbors and his slaves, forever altering the relationships among them. Everyone around him has his or her own view of what that disappearance means, of why it had to happen, and of what will happen now that there is a ‘hole’ where a man used to be.
The Difficulty of Crossing a Field is intended to cross between opera and theater worlds, mixing arias with spoken text, emotional melodies with intense drama. It is written for 5 principals and a small chorus, and the accompaniment is for string quartet on stage, both as the “orchestra” and as part of the set. Ultimately, it is an opera in which the damage done by slavery leaks from the physical to the metaphysical world.
The opera is presented by Beth Morrison Projects and tickets are available online.