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The Mile-Long Opera rehearsal (photo by Liz Ligon)

This Wednesday, The Mile-Long Opera: A Biography of 7 O’Clock comes to the High Line, bringing together 1,000 singers across New York for free performances from October 3–8. The Mile-Long Opera is a collective performance of choral work that shares the personal stories of hundreds of New Yorkers, focusing on the changing meaning of 7 pm, the time that the performance begins each night.

According to the website, 7 pm is “a time traditionally associated with family, stability, and home, yet today, those associations are less predictable.” The stories told in these performances have been collected and inspired from first-hand interviews with a wide array of New Yorkers.

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The Mile-Long Opera rehearsal (photo by Matthew Johnson)

The performance takes place on the High Line, with audience members encouraged to walk and move through groups of singers throughout the night. This project was co-created by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Words and lyrics are by poets Anne Carson and Claudia Rankine.

Instructions on how to attend and reserve tickets can be found here. But if you can’t attend in person, an interactive online experience will be available as well. All you need is a mobile device or, for an even more immersive experience, a virtual reality headset.

When: October 3–8, 7:00 pm each night
Where: The High Line (performance begins at the High Line’s Gansevoort & Washington Street entrance and ends at 34th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues), Chelsea, Manhattan


Deena ElGenaidi is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden in 2016, and her work has appeared in Longreads, Electric Literature,...