This Modern Opera is Inspired by U.S. Marine Sergeant Christian Ellis

'Fallujah' is a modern opera that recounts the experience of retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Christian Ellis. While there have been a great deal of films made about the Iraq War, Fallujah represents the first time the subject has been addressed in the form of an opera.

Written by Heather Raffo and composed by Tobin Stokes, Fallujah tells the tale of Ellis' experience as a machine gunner during the Iraq War. After his platoon was ambushed and bombed during the 2004 battle of Fallujah, Ellis was left with a broken back and PTSD. The modern opera specifically focuses on the 72 hours in a veteran's hospital after Ellis made his third suicide attempt. While the subject matter is dark, the opera aims to convey a more realistic idea of what it is like for veterans to endure combat.