David Henry Hwang, professor and current concentration head for Playwriting, will premiere his new opera Dream of the Red Chamber this fall at San Francisco Opera. Hwang has written the libretto with Bright Sheng, who also composed the music. Hwang and Sheng previously worked together on the opera Silver River.
Hwang is best known for M. Butterfly which is loosely adapted by the Puccini opera Madame Butterfly. His other plays include Chinglish, Golden Child, Yellow Face, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB. He has also been part of the team writing Aida, Flower Drum Song, and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is America’s most-produced living opera librettist and in addition to Sheng has worked with Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Unsuk Chin, Huang Ruo, and Howard Shore. Hwang is a Tony Award winner, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and three-time Obie Award winner. He was recently named chair of the American Theatre Wing.
Dream of the Red Chamber is adapted from an eighteenth-century Chinese novel called The Story of the Stone, which tells the story of a young man whose happiness is threatened and fortune is jeopardized when his family loses their social standing with the Emperor. Dream of the Red Chamber will be directed by Stan Lai and will feature an all Asian cast of rising opera stars. The work was commissioned by San Francisco Opera, and is a co-production with the Hong Kong Arts Festival. It will also be presented at the 45th Annual Festival of the Hong Kong Cultural Center in the Grand Theatre in March 2017.