The Mile-Long Opera
Time & Location
About The Event
Co-created by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, with words and lyrics by acclaimed poets Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine, The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock is an ambitious, collective, free choral work that shares personal stories from hundreds of New Yorkers about life in our rapidly changing city.
The work focuses on the changing meaning of 7:00 pm, the time the performance begins each evening, and a time that represents a transition from day to night, when people shift from one activity to the next. It is also a time traditionally associated with family, stability and home, yet today, those associations are less predictable. The diverse stories told in The Mile-Long Opera are inspired by first-hand interviews with New Yorkers from all walks of life. Their individual experiences reflect unique ways of coping with the contemporary condition—anxiety, humor, nostalgia, vulnerability, joy, and outrage—that together form a biography of 7 o’clock.
Set in one of the most dynamic public spaces for observing New York City and its multitude of intersecting lives, The Mile-Long Opera invites audiences to move in and out of groups of singers as they walk along the High Line.
At the heart of the work is an extensive community engagement initiative that activates non-profit cultural organizations across all five boroughs. Seven Anchor Partners serve as a hub for engaging local audiences—from recruiting singers, to holding and welcoming the public for open rehearsals and workshops, to hosting social and cultural events in the lead-up to the October performances.