Christian Ellis has been trained in classical and jazz music since the age of 10, focusing on voice and trumpet. At the age of 19, he decided he wanted a new challenge in life and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, with guidance and support from his mother. Upon entry into the Marines, Mr. Ellis selected the Military Occupational Specialty (Machine Gunner) program where he gained expertise in all available infantry machine--guns, their use and employment assisting in military operations and in missions conducted in the Iraqi theater. During his first tour in Iraq, Mr. Ellis's unit was directly responsible for the majority of Area of Operations for the city of Al Fallujah. This consisted of counter-mortar missions, cordon-and-searches for known or suspected terrorists and insurgents, escorting U.S. military personnel and their equipment, re-establishing diplomatic relations between local sheiks and the U.S. Government, and providing humanitarian aid when possible. Al Fallujah was Mr. Ellis's first exposure to the hard and daily combat that resulted in the experiences of life, death, and survival addressed in this opera. Upon leaving the Marines, Mr. Ellis had achieved the rank of sergeant. Mr. Ellis wishes to acknowledge and thank Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, The Annenberg Foundation, Explore.Org, The Semper Fi Foundation and City Opera Vancouver.
Current as of March 2014