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Published on Feb 3, 2012
The Ten-Block Walk: An Old-Person's Odyssey a new opera
Music by Erin Huelskamp, Libretto by Christie Lee Gibson.
The Ten-Block Walk follows Mrs. Otis across town as she journeys from her home to the local senior center. This is a piece about being present. About taking time and taking in your surroundings, and responding to them. About persistence in the face of pain and obstacles and handicap. About understanding that when you achieve your goals, often after great physical and mental exertion, it doesn't always look or feel like you think it's going to. It's about learning to accept that disjuncture and to pursue goals regardless and to enjoy the journey and what ends up happening through the continuous results of the effort.
Through her journey, The Ten-Block Walk addresses a number of "Scylla and Charybdis" human fears: fear of death and fear of the wearing down of the body that comes with aging, fear of the other and fear of being alone, fear of being taken advantage of and fear of not giving enough, of being in the way and of not being noticed. Our central character experiences all of them, but does not let them cripple her.