Huang Ruo, Composer
Del Sol Quartet
The United States Air Force Band Singing Sergeants; Colonel Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor
Between 1910 and 1940, as new immigrants flowed through the immigration station on Angel Island inside the San Francisco Bay, Chinese immigrants faced massive discrimination due to the United States’ earliest racist immigration legislation: the Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. They are the first—and only—laws to have been implemented to prevent all members of a specific ethnic or national group from immigrating to the United States. Facing imprisonment—sometimes for years—in brutal conditions at Angel Island, many of these immigrants searched for solace by inscribing poetry onto the walls of the detention center. Composed by Huang Ruo—acclaimed by The New Yorker as “one of the world's leading young composers,” and whose recent operas have premiered with the Washington National Opera—ANGEL ISLAND, an oratorio for chamber choir and string quartet, is inspired by these poems, weaving a story of immigration, discrimination, and confinement and bringing history into the reality of our current lives.
Copresented in partnership with Washington Performing Arts and the United States Air Force Band.
The United States Air Force Band Singing Sergeants photo credit: Senior Master Sgt. Josh Kowalsky