The High Line Will Host 1,000 Vocalists for a “Mile-Long” Opera

Architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang are collaborating on the project, which runs October 3–7.

High Line diller scofidio mile long opera
Courtesy Liz Ligon

For the past several weeks, 1,000 vocalists culled from community organizations throughout New York City have met on the High Line for an unusual purpose: to practice a new opera piece. The rehearsals are in preparation for “The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock,” a project by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang. For five consecutive nights, October 3–7, visitors to Manhattan’s elevated greenway will mingle with the participating singers as they perform along the High Line’s mile-long span. With a libretto by veteran poets Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine, the opera will pay tribute to what 7:00 p.m. variously represents to different New Yorkers. “The park will be a 30-block-long urban stage for an immersive performance,” says DS+R principal Elizabeth Diller. “The city will be both protagonist and backdrop for a collective experience celebrating our diversity.”

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