Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Developed by the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program Grounded is a co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and Washington National Opera.

Unavailable for performance.

  • Full orchestra
  • SATB
  • Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, 2 Baritones, Bass-Baritone
  • George Brant
  • English

Programme Note

Cast List
   JESS: Mezzo – Ace F-16 Fighter pilot reassigned to drone operation
   ERIC: Tenor – Jess's husband, a rancher, passionate, midwestern, both feet on the ground
   COMMANDER: Bass-baritone – 50's/60's, experienced warrior, with the nobility of a veteran of past wars
   TRAINER: Lower baritone, more dramatic, some F's, F# – 20's-30's, show off, true believer in the new technology
   SENSOR: Lighter baritone, more lyric – 19-year-old dude, video game master, chews gum, into cars
   ALSO JESS: Soprano – Jess's dissociated self in Act II when her mental state disintegrates
   SAM – Jess and Eric's 5-year-old daughter (amplified)
   SEATWARMER – limited singing

Non-singing roles:
   THE OBSERVERS – 2 male supers, 30's-40's; stoic watchers/note-takers in dress uniform – dressed differently from pilots

Jess is a hot shot F-16 fighter pilot, an elite warrior trained for the sky. When an unexpected pregnancy grounds her, she’s reassigned to the “chair force” to control drones in Afghanistan from the comfort of a trailer in Las Vegas. But war “with all the benefits of home” isn’t clear-cut. As Jess tracks terrorists by day and rocks her daughter to sleep by night, the boundary between her worlds becomes dangerously permeable.



"All for the Blue" from "Grounded"


  • New Opera Highlights from Wise Music Classical
    • New Opera Highlights from Wise Music Classical
    • Wise Music Classical invites you to explore new highlights from our opera catalogue. In these recent and upcoming premieres, new productions, and premiere recordings, our composers and their creative collaborators explore subjects ranging from the historical (Hadrian, X: The Life and Times of Malcom X, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) to the futuristic (Oryx and Crake), the fantastic (El Ultimo Sueño de Frida y Diego, Florencia en el Amazonas, Die Kinder des Sultans) to the thoroughly contemporary (Grounded, Blue, Innocence, The Shell Trial). Threaded throughout these works are perennial themes of loss, longing, magic, art-making, and community.

More Info