Baruch Performing Arts Center
Fresh Squeezed Opera
present the NYC Premiere of
April 13 – 18, 2019
Baruch Performing Arts Center and Fresh Squeezed Opera will co-present the NYC Premiere of composer Huang Ruo and librettist Bao-Long Chu‘s one-act chamber opera Bound in a new production by Ashley Tata. Performances from April 13-18, 2019 at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (25th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues), NYC. Tickets are $16-36 and may be purchased at www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac.
Bound is based on the true story of Diane Tran, a second generation Vietnamese American and 11th grade honor student who takes two jobs to support her family after her parents’ divorce. As the eldest child, she is bound by her Vietnamese heritage to care for her siblings after her mother leaves. When Diane’s overextended schedule results in multiple absences from school, the administration exercises its right under Texas law and sends her to court, where she is sentenced to a short jail term.
Combining Eastern and Western instruments and musical techniques, Boundfluidly interweaves the past and the present as it explores the cultural conflicts immigrants face on a daily basis. “To me, a Vietnamese refugee living in America,” says librettist Bao-Long Chu, “the notion of being bound to one’s culture (and the struggles therein) is not just an idea, but my life writ large.”
The cast features soprano Fang-Tao Jiang as Diane, mezzo-soprano Guang Yang as Diana’s mother Khan, baritone Andrew Wannigman as Stanley, bass/baritone Daniel Klein as Judge Moriarty, and Zhou Yi on pipa. The production team includes Alex Wen (Music Director), Ashley Tata (Stage Director), Aislinn Curry (Production Manager), Carl Whipple (Technical Director), David Bengali (Projection/Video Designer), Corina Louise Chase (Costume Designer), Abigail Hoke-Brady (Lighting Designer), and Stephan Moravski (Scenic Designer).
Huang Ruo (Composer/Music Director) has been lauded by The New Yorkeras “one of the world’s leading young composers” and by The New York Timesfor 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. As a member of the new generation of Chinese composers, his goal is not just to mix both Western and Eastern elements, but also to create a seamless, organic integration. Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film. Huang Ruo was the first composer-in-residence of Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam. He is also in residence at the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Huang Ruo was born in Hainan Island, China in 1976-the year the Chinese Cultural Revolution ended. His father, who is also a composer, began teaching him composition and piano when he was six years old. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, when China was opening its gate to the Western world, he received both traditional and Western education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He moved to the United States to further his education, earning his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School.
Ashley Tata (Director) is a director of multi-media works of theater, contemporary opera, performance, live music and immersive experiences. Her work has been presented in venues and festivals throughout the U.S. and internationally including LA Opera, The Miller Theater, Mass MoCA, National Sawdust, The Kitchen, EMPAC, Dixon Place, Roulette Intermedium, HERE Arts Center, PROTOTYPE Festival, The Crossing the Line Festival, the Holland Festival, The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and the Bard Fisher Center. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has taught or guest taught at Harvard University, MIT, Marymount Manhattan College, Colgate College, Bard College, LIU Post and NYU. She is the recipient of the Lotos Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award in Arts and Sciences and a winner of the 2017 Robert L. B. Tobin Director/Designer grant. Recently: Found Sound Nation’s Mosaic International (Big Ears Festival); David T. Little’s Soldier Songs (LA Opera); Kate Soper’s Ipsa Dixit (Miller Theater); and Associate Director of Oklahoma! (St. Ann’s Warehouse).ashleytata.com
Fang-Tao Jiang (Diane Tran) Since soprano Fang Tao Jiang’s solo debut in Rutter’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, her career has found a home both on opera and concert stages. Recent career credits include solo and operatic roles with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Utah Festival Opera, Rome Opera, and Carnegie Hall Music Explorer Concerts, among others. Her critically acclaimed contributions to new music include the leading role Song Ching-Ling in composer Huang Ruo’s opera Dr. Sun Yat-sen in concert. The New York Times heralded her performance as “strong” and praised her “ably brought out the drama and intensity…” Jiang is frequently featured on WQXR, WNYC, CCBC and Xinhua News.
Founded in 2013, Fresh Squeezed Opera dedicates itself to providing composers with a platform to present their new music, specifically focusing on vocal works and fully-staged opera. In its five years of operation, the company has presented over 25 composers’ works, with consistently sold-out houses as a testament to the power of new music. Fully staged operatic productions include the World Premieres of Spencer Snyder’s Scopes, Whitney George’sThe Yellow Wallpaper, and Jillian Flexner’s La Zombiata, as well asthe New York Premieres of Constantin Basica’s Knot An Opera!, Kevin Wilt’s Prix Fixe, and Bruce Trinkley’s Baby Shower.
Baruch Performing Arts Center is an acclaimed performing arts presence. Located in the heart of Manhattan just east of Chelsea and the famed flatiron building, BPAC presents renowned classical music, opera, jazz, theater, dance, discussion, film, and innovative cross-genre programming. BPAC has presented over 1,000 cultural programs in its 5 spaces since 2003. Its curated season of 40 programs annually emphasizes new work experienced in intimate settings, the diversity of American culture as exemplified by Baruch students (who come from 130 different countries), and work that lives at the confluence of art and social justice.
Past presentations have included theatre companies such as the National Asian American Theatre Company, Folksbiene, New Georges, The Acting Company, Aquilla and MCC. Dance companies such as Dzul Dance, José Limón, and Urban Bush Women. BPAC is the New York home of the Alexander String Quartet and presents a rich chamber music season including ensembles such as the Israeli Chamber Project, Cantata Profana, and pianists Sara Davis Buechner and 2018 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist, Michael Brown. BPAC offers a jazz series named for bassist and faculty member Milt Hinton, which has featured artists such as Grammy-Award winner Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Discussion program have included writers Teju Cole, Colum McCann and Amitav Ghosh, actress Linda Lavin, and thought leaders such as Gloria Steinem and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Visit www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac for complete and up-to-date information on the 2018-19 season.