War Follows Everyone Home

Director Peter Sellars connects with veterans through Handel's opera, Hercules

For the Lyric Opera’s production of George Frideric Handel’s opera, Hercules, director Peter Sellars has transposed this timeless tragedy to the present, envisioning Hercules as an American general returning from the front lines.


Part of what I want to do with this production is to honor our veterans, and to recognize and discuss what they bring home with them”
—Peter Sellars

On March 2, a special University and Lyric Opera partnership featured the renowned and always-provocative director Peter Sellars and a panel of distinguished scholars, writers, and veterans including John Cacioppo, director of The University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience; and University of Chicago trustee Jack Fuller, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor of the Chicago Tribune, who covered the Vietnam War and has written novels about that conflict. The panel was moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, cultural critic for the Chicago Tribune and author of Back Home, a novel narrated by a young girl whose father suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq as a National Guardsman.

This program was held in conjunction with the Lyric Opera’s production of George Frideric Handel’s opera, Hercules. Director Peter Sellars transposed this timeless tragedy to the present, envisioning Hercules as an American general returning from the front lines.

Originally published on March 2, 2011.