In Person

An American Solider —
Conversation with Tony Award and Grammy Award Winner David Henry HWANG; Chay YEW; and Carolyn KUAN About the Powerful Opera Commemorating a Soldier’s Racially Charged Tragedy

May 1, 2024
7:00 - 8:15 PM

Join us for an exploration of exclusive behind-the-scenes stories before its New York premiere at Perelman Performing Arts Center with the stella creative team of An American Soldier, including Tony Award and Grammy Award winner David Henry HWANG (M. Butterfly, Soft Power); Obie Award winner Chay YEW (Cambodian Rock Band, Sweatshop Overlord); and versatile conductor Carolyn KUAN.

On October 3, 2011, Chinese American Army Pvt. Danny Chen was found dead in a guard tower at his base in Afghanistan. Based on his story and the ensuing courts-martial of Chen’s fellow soldiers, An American Soldier, the New York City premiere opera tells the powerful true story of a young soldier from Manhattan’s Chinatown who sought to serve his country, only to find his biggest threat was the very people who swore to protect him.

This event is in collaboration with Perelman Performing Arts Center.


This program is made possible through the support of the Chinese International Education Foundation, and generous supporters of China Institute.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

China Institute’s cultural programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Speakers

David Henry Hwang
David Henry HWANG
Libretto

David Henry Hwang’s stage works include the plays M. Butterfly, Yellow Face (Broadway revival upcoming, Fall 2024), Chinglish, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the musicals Aida, Soft Power, Flower Drum Song and Disney’s Tarzan. Called America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written thirteen libretti, including five with composer Philip Glass and four with Huang Ruo. Ainadamar with music by Osvaldo Golijov will receive its Metropolitan Opera premiere in Fall 2024. Hwang was a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair and is currently creating and show running a new TV series, Billion Dollar Whale. A professor at Columbia University, Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a Grammy Award winner and two-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Chay Yew
Chay YEW
Director

New York credits include The Public Theater (Mojada, Oedipus el Rey, Durango, Ameriville, Low), Playwrights Horizons (Cool Dip in a Barren Saharan Crick), Signature Theatre (Cambodian Rock Band), New York Theatre Workshop (Sweatshop Overlord,The Architecture of Loss), Audible Theatre (Good Enemy), Rattlestick Theater (Draw The Circle), Playwrights Realm (My Mañana Comes), Ensemble Studio Theatre (Where Did We Sit on the Bus?), National Asian American Theatre Company (The House of Bernarda Alba) and Ma Yi Theatre (Last of the Suns). His regional credits include the Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Alley Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Hartford Stage, Denver Center Theater, Huntington Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory, Empty Space, Portland Center Stage, East West Players and Singapore Repertory Theatre. His opera credits include the world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar (co-production with Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and LA Philharmonic) and Rob Zuidam’s Rage D’Amors (Tanglewood). He is a recipient of the Obie Award for Direction. Chayyew.com

Carolyn Kuan
Carolyn KUAN
Conductor

Recognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility, Carolyn Kuan has enjoyed successful associations with top tier orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals worldwide. She has served as Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra since 2011. Upcoming and recent engagements include performances with the Baltimore Symphony, the Columbus (OH) Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. Recently she conducted operatic productions that included Philip Glass’ Satyagraha with English National Opera, Harvey Milk with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Huang Ruo’s M. Butterfly with Santa Fe Opera. Carolyn Kuan holds the distinction of being the first woman to be awarded the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship by the Herbert von Karajan Centrum and American Austrian Foundation in 2003.

Susan Yuqing Feng
Susan Yuqing Feng
Moderator

Susan Yuqing Feng is Director of Programs at China Institute.  Before joining CI, Susan was the Editor in Chief of Bitpush News, a leading block chain media based in New York and a columnist for the Financial Times Chinese Edition. Throughout her journalism career, Susan conducted interviews with a multitude of world economic and political leaders, including Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Paul Volker, President Clinton, Zbigniew Brzeziński, Michael Bloomberg, Thomas Friedman, and many more.  Susan has also directed the documentary series “World Movers” which was released in March 2018. It illustrated the emerging new world order 70 years after WWII, shedding light on what has changed the U.S. and the world and the forces affecting everyone. It focused on the relationships between technology and globalization, the impact on immigration, and the future of U.S.-China relations.

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