An American Soldier

This opera is born out of tragic death of Private Danny Chen 陈宇晖 in 2011. It was composed Huang Ruo, libretto by playwright David Henry Hwang, premiered in 2018.

Having been cancelled once before, tonight’s discussion is the second attempt, moderated by Agnes Hsu-Tang @ NY Historical Society by the Park.

It’s a good program, in that both Huangs (David uses a different spelling) are candid and give us an insight and background to their artistic work. Ruo said that he gave a voice or addressed the Sergeant’s concern or intend, was to make Chen stronger (a weak soldier is a liability to the unit).  

The tenor (singer) Andrew Stenson who plays Chen was born in S Korea and adopted by American parents. As he grew up, he encountered many similar situations that Chen or many Asian Americans have been experiencing (like, “…really, where where are you from?” Or “emmm… your English is really good.”).

I thought of A Few Good Men (1992).

An interesting note: the pianist and bassoonist are white – normally (like in my children’s school), Asians are always in the pit, playing the instruments. 

新鲜出炉不久的歌剧 ‘美国大兵’ 是根据纽约唐人街长大的陈宇晖参军 因为忍受不了上司的折磨 自杀于阿富汗. 种族(歧视) 和现实 (上司说他不过硬 战场上同伙受累) …

联想到最近斯里兰卡的袭击 …  希望那个北欧丹麦的爸爸, 可以化悲痛为动力, 一举铲除害那群人虫!

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