"As Younger Jim, Riesen glowed with his love of Alyce, whom he idealized as the soft, docile woman of his dreams and the mother of his children, thoughts that kept him alive during his captivity. Every inch the hero in stature and voice, Riesen could express the sweetest of emotions or become rapier-sharp with indignation or defiance when he was roused by demons real or imagined.. . Baritone Daniel Belcher was the exceptionally fine singer and actor who brought this complex man to life. In his portrayal of Older Jim, nothing remained of the strong, virile, optimistic young soldier. Anger and frustration fueled him as much as his rock-solid knowledge that he was a hero. The ache in the man’s heart over all he lost was revealed through the beauty of Belcher’s voice in passages where nostalgia rather than rage consumed Older Jim."
"...this gifted cast. Whether talking to each other across time and memory or in real time encounters, the oral history worked beautifully to convey their experiences in authentic-sounding conversations.
Although Belcher got the show-stopping aria, each one of the singing actors served the material to great effect, creating four unforgettable portraits of the two human beings caught up in a world of war and social change."
"The opera’s four characters - younger and older versions of Jim and Alyce – are portrayed at BOF by a uniformly outstanding cast of four experienced singers... Baritone Daniel Belcher’s older Jim was bitter, tenacious, and irascible. Tenor John Riesen brought youthful energy and vulnerability to younger Jim."