The New York Premiere of a soaring new opera based on a powerful true story.
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, this 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.
Told through the multidimensional music of Huang Ruo (M. Butterfly, Book of Mountains and Seas) with libretto by Tony and Grammy winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Soft Power), and directed by Obie Award winner Chay Yew (Cambodian Rock Band, Sweatshop Overlord), An American Soldier is a powerful and unforgettable experience.
Co-Produced by PAC NYC, Boston Lyric Opera, and American Composers Orchestra.
The 2024 version was co-commissioned by PAC NYC and Boston Lyric Opera.
Photo by Jai Lennard. David Lee, model.
Contains depictions and references to racism, violence and derogatory language.
David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang’s work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (revival upcoming, 2023), Flower Drum Song and Disney’s Tarzan. M. Butterfly was revived on Broadway in 2017, directed by Julie Taymor.
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.
Composer Huang Ruo has been lauded by The New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls “Dimensionalism.”
Chay Yew’s 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 (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).