Starting in 1910, many immigrants who journeyed to America were processed at an immigration station on Angel Island, located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Until a fire led to its closure in 1940, the station primarily functioned as a detention center, where half a million people from 80 countries were held under barbaric conditions—some for weeks, others for years. The majority of these detainees were Chinese migrants, who were banned from entering the United States under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, with few exceptions.
Making his BAM debut, acclaimed Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo (M. Butterfly, An American Soldier, Book of Mountains & Seas) revisits this chapter of American history in Angel Island, a poignant multimedia experience scored for voices and string quartet that blurs the boundaries of opera, theater, dance, and music. In collaboration with the Del Sol Quartet, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and archival filmmaker Bill Morrison, Huang Ruo and director Matthew Ozawa weave a powerful requiem from the century-old poetry engraved on the detention center’s walls by some of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants who were incarcerated and subjected to dehumanizing horrors. 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.
January 11th, 2024
January 13th, 2024
Angel Island runs for 1h 30m.
Angel Island is at the Harvey Theater at BAM Strong, which is located in Brooklyn, NY, United States, 11217.
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