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 stories sung in the The Mile-Long Opera have been gathered through first-hand interviews with residents throughout the city, asking what 7:00 pm means to them. They reveal a vast spectrum of feelings and perspectives—and, by extension, represent the diverse character of the city’s inhabitants and their individual experiences.
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.