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The Greatest Generation - An American Oratorio

  • Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington Street Saint Paul, MN, 55102 United States (map)

Oratorio Society Chorus & Orchestra

Matthew Mehaffey

Original Libretto

Dan Kehde

Original Music and Arrangements

Roger Ames with Elizabeth Bassine

From The Ordway's website: 

"World Premiere

This uniquely “American” oratorio tells the story of a soldier and his family during the years of the Second World War through the music that sustained the country during this pivotal time in American and world history ­ music that includes some of the greatest songs of love and war ever written.

This work is not about the usual icons of war.  It is not about fronts, or “taking the hill” or even danger of the kind we usually attribute to the battlefield. It is about love and loss, and worry and trying to connect over thousands of miles. It is about children who miss their fathers, and adolescents who fall in love. It is about young boys becoming men, choosing to follow their own fathers into war -and, especially, about the heartsickness and worry suffered by those left behind. It is about the wives and daughters who wish to protect and help in any way possible. But mostly, it is about hope – hope that life somehow will come back to normal, that fealty will be rewarded, that prayers will be answered.

This is the story of the heroism of families of servicemen and women back then as well as of all the heroes in bases and barracks and bivouacs and homes all-across the world who continue to make those sacrifices for our country."