Der leuchtende Fluss a new politically-charged opera composed by Austrian composer Johanna Doderer, opens tomorrow night at Theater Erfurt.
The opera centers around the main character Ira Hayes (sung by American tenor John Bellemer), the Arizona-born Native American and American Marine who was one of the six men in Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer Prize winning photograph from February 1945 of Marines raising the American flag at the landing at Iwo Jima. Hayes' bittersweet story has already been commemorated in a handful of films since WWII. The former Marine who was used as American propaganda had never recovered from his post-war trauma, and succumbed to alcoholism only a decade after the war.
Video can be found on Theater Erfurt's website here.
(Photos Alexander Volkmann)