Angel Island
Angel Island
Jan 11—Jan 13, 2024
Opera | Music

BAM and Prototype Festival

Angel Island
Composed by Huang Ruo
Directed by Matthew Ozawa
Film by Bill Morrison



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.


Produced by Beth Morrison Projects
Commissioned by Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions / Del Sol Quartet with a completion commission by Singapore International Festival of Art

Fri Jun 16
BAM Members & Patrons
Tue Jul 11
General Public
BAM Members & Patrons get first access and receive 20% off tickets through August 31. No promo code needed. All performances will adhere to protocols developed in accordance with New York State regulations and in consultation with medical professionals for the safety of our artists, audiences, and staff. 

Leadership support for
BAM Access Programs
provided by the
Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Jerome L. Greene Foundation


Leadership support for
Next Wave 2023
provided by:


Leadership support for theater at BAM provided by:
The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.;
The SHS Foundation;
and The Shubert Foundation, Inc.


Leadership support for BAM Film provided by:
The Thompson Family Foundation

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— The New York Times
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