Between 1910 and 1940, many Chinese immigrants flowed through the immigration station on Angel Island inside San Francisco Bay, facing mass discrimination under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, with few exceptions. With music by acclaimed Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo, Angel Island revisits this chapter of American history with a poignant multimedia experience scored for voices and a string quartet that blurs the boundaries of opera, theater, dance, and music. Ruo, along with director Matthew Ozawa, weaves a powerful requiem from the century-old poetry engraved on the detention center’s walls by some of the hundreds of thousands of incarcerated Chinese immigrants. Angel Island arrives amid an ongoing epidemic of brutal violence and rampant discrimination against immigrants, asylum-seekers, and Asians across the diaspora. This production is a stirring plea for care and empathy as well as a visceral, clear-eyed tribute to the rebellion and resilience of those who passed through and perished at Angel Island.
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Brooklyn Academy of Music. Commissioned by Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions / Del Sol Quartet with a completion commission by Singapore International Festival of Art