Which came first, the music or the libretto? Today, May 5, 2012, 4:00PM, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Andreas Mitisek, Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera, will interview Tony award-winning author David Henry Hwang about his libretto for Ainadamar, the opera by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov based on the life of Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca and his murder by Fascists during the Spanish Civil War.
This special event with Hwang precedes LBO’s new production of Ainadamar, directed by Mitisek, May 20 at 7:00PM and May 26, 2012 at 8:00PM, at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach.
Offering a rare glimpse into the creation of an opera, the discussion will explore the connections among Hwang, Golijov, and Lorca’s varied works. Highlighting the afternoon will be excerpts from the opera performed by LBO cast members, followed by an audience Q&A.
David Henry Hwang was born August 11, 1957 in Los Angeles, Calif., and studied at Yale School of Drama and at Stanford University. The status of Asian- Americans in modern society is a recurrent theme in Hwang’s plays. The Dance and the Railroad, an early play about a Chinese opera singer working as a laborer, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 1988, Hwang’s best known play, M Butterfly, made him the first Asian-American recipient of a Tony Award. Golden Child garnered Hwang another Tony nomination and a 1997 Obie Award. On Broadway, his work includes the book for the 2003 revival of Flower Drum Song and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Hwang is no stranger to opera having written the librettos for Philip Glass’The Voyage, 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, and The Sound of a Voice (produced by LBO in 2006) as well as Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (with Chin) and Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. Hwang has also written for television and appeared on numerous television programs. Although he lives in New York City, he travels frequently to Los Angeles where East West Players, the nation’s oldest Asian American Acting Company, has named its mainstage theater after him (David Henry Hwang Theater.)