I never go to war,

Only the after-party.

When the shooting is over,

That’s when the fighting begins.

In the modern world, Truth and Reconciliation brings to mind the post-war process of rebuilding countries damaged by war.  But truth and reconciliation are never far from the daily dramas of families on the battlefields of kitchens and bedrooms, nor from the internal conflicts of desire.

The hero of Truth and Reconciliation finds himself in Rome, accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award for a successful career that has taken him around the globe. He has smoked Camels with relief pilots in the rice paddies of Cambodia and listened to the stories of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. From Albania to Argentina, Kashmir to the Congo, he has run to “the butt ends of war,” taking testimony and cleaning up the “after-parties” of other peoples’ conflicts.  His own battles, however, refuse to remain quiet. There is a wife back in America who loves him with a carnal passion and a constant suspicion; a daughter he knows mostly over Skype; and a war brewing within his own borders that needs attention. As his global self wrestles with his domestic, is Truth the best recipe for Reconciliation?

In the course of fifteen musical pieces, Marvin and Levi paint the disintegration not only of an individual man but of the world order of the American Century. At a time when all the rules of diplomacy and civility have been torn, when cynicism and lies trample the truth, they give voice to a sense of social urgency, the need for all of us to “rise above the Earth and fly.”

Mel Marvin   Composer

Jonathan Levi   Libretto
Ethan Heard   Director
Dan Schlosberg  Music Director
Elizabeth Mak   Projections & Lights
Kate Marvin   Sound

Jonathan Hays   The Hero





Filmed: January 11, 2020

Scorca Theater, National Opera Center, 330 7th Ave., 7th floor, NYC