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Seattle Opera.

Community Discussion

Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly

Sunday, July 9, 2017

SIFF Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle

Most opera companies present the opera Madame Butterfly because of Puccini’s beautiful melodies. But not everyone can see themselves in this story. As a historically white and European art form, opera has a history of using cultural appropriation to tell stories, and of placing more emphasis on the voice in casting. Thus, prior to its performance of Madame Butterfly this August, Seattle Opera will hold a panel discussion featuring Asian Pacific Islander (API) artists, community leaders, and activists that will be moderated by Frank Abe, an award-winning writer/producer and founder of the Asian American Journalists Association in Seattle.

Download the transcript from this event

Seattle Opera knows it has work to do to better reflect and welcome Seattle’s communities of color, including the Asian Pacific Islander community. The panel is not meant as a solution to aspects of Butterfly that are hurtful or problematic—instead, it’s meant to provide a listening and learning opportunity for Seattle Opera and our community. No topic will be off limits in this candid and honest discussion covering cultural appropriation, harmful portrayals of API people in art and entertainment, and a way forward for classical art forms such as opera. Opera is an art form often caught between long-standing traditions, such as mounting popular works by well-known composers, and the need to adapt to better serve diverse people. All are welcome to attend!

Sunday, July 9, 2017 2:00 PM         
Add to Calendar 7/9/2017 2:00:00 PM 7/9/2017 2:00:00 PM America/Vancouver Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly Sunday, July 9 at 2:00 PM SIFF Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle Prior to its performance of Madame Butterfly this August, Seattle Opera will hold a panel discussion featuring Asian Pacific Islander (API) artists, community leaders, and activists that will be moderated by Frank Abe, an award-winning writer/producer and founder of the Asian American Journalists Association in Seattle. SIFF Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle

Add to Calendar 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM America/Vancouver Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly Sunday, July 9 at 2:00 PM SIFF Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle Prior to its performance of Madame Butterfly this August, Seattle Opera will hold a panel discussion featuring Asian Pacific Islander (API) artists, community leaders, and activists that will be moderated by Frank Abe, an award-winning writer/producer and founder of the Asian American Journalists Association in Seattle. SIFF Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle

Panelists

Frank Abe (Moderator) is a film director and producer, and a co-founder of the Asian American Journalists Association in Seattle. He was also a founding member of the Asian American Theater Workshop in San Francisco. A former reporter for KIRO Newsradio, Abe currently serves as strategic communications advisor in the King County Dept. of Transportation.

Angel Alviar-Langley (a.k.a. "Moonyeka") is a queer Filipina-American street-styles dancer who utilizes art creation and organizing to realize a more inclusive and intersectional world for the communities she comes from. Her current projects include “WHAT’S POPPIN’ LADIEZ?!” an ethnographic research project and community event series focused on the female popping experience. The 2nd Annual WPL?! convention will happen July 28th-30th. Moonyeka is also a choreographer and dancer of Au Collective – a dance collective that puts women, queer folks, and POC at the forefront.

Kathy Hsieh is an award-winning actor, writer, and director. As an actor she has worked in film, audio, and theatre including the Seattle Rep, Book-It, ACT, Intiman, Seattle Public Theatre, ReAct, Living Voices, Theater Schmeater, Freehold, Live Girls!, 14/48 Productions, ArtsWest, and more.

Dr. LeiLani Nishime is an Associate Professor or Communication at UW. Her research areas include multiracial and interracial studies, Asian American media representations, and Asian American subcultural production. Her most recent publications look at the visual representation of multiracial people in mass media and at race in science fiction and fashion. Her book, Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture, was published in 2014. She received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in English from UC Berkeley.

Matthew Ozawa has an international career spanning all artistic disciplines having worked for prestigious companies worldwide including Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Siam, Macau International Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, Ozawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mozawa, a Chicago-based incubator advancing collaborative art and artists.

The Shanghai Pearl is The Tantalizing Temptress from Taipei, Tempestuous Temple of Temptation, and Princess of Pulchritude! An internationally renowned burlesque performer and instructor based out of Seattle, Washington, the Shanghai Pearl is celebrated for her extravagant costumes, bawdy humor, sizzling strip-tease, high glamour, and pulchritudinous performances. She has performed with Teatro Zinzanni Seattle and Teatro Zinzanni San Francisco and has been featured with the award winning Heavenly Spies, Can Can Castaways, and Glam-O-Rama Girlie show. Miss Pearl also travels widely to perform and teach. She performed for New Orleans Burlesque Festival in 2010 and The New York Burlesque Festival in 2011, and has headlined as close to home as Portland, Oregon, and as far away as Paris, France.

Karl Reyes is a familar face on the Seattle Opera stage, performing regularly with the chorus since 1994. He made his mainstage debut as a Peasant in Pagliacci (’07), and his roles have also included Hortensius, La fille du régiment (’13); Political Official, Amelia (’10); Messenger, Aida (’08) and Wigmaker, Ariadne auf Naxos (14).

Roger Tang is a veteran theatre producer of over four decades who began working with folks like Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang and Philip Kan Gotanda. As a playwright, he’s written The Jade Con, Shadowed Intent, Truth and Lies, Third Generation Heritage and Mac ‘n Dex. Called the “Godfather of Asian American theatre” by A. Magazine, he is a recipient of a 2016 Equity Award from the Equity In the Entertainment Industry Symposium at Stanford University, and is a member of the national board for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) where he chairs the membership committee. He is also is the Literary Manager for SIS Productions, the Executive Director of Pork Filled Productions and edits the Asian American Theatre Revue, the web’s foremost resource on Asian American theatre.

 

Main Photo © Philip Newton