The Washington National Opera has commissioned a one-hour opera based on the life and death of Private Chen. Called “An American Soldier,” the opera is being composed by Huang Ruo, a Chinese-born composer now living in New York. The libretto is being written by the Chinese-American playwright David Henry Hwang, author of the plays “M. Butterfly” and “Chinglish.”
“I felt that this is a very good subject for us because, after all, opera is not just entertainment,” Mr. Huang said in an interview on Thursday. “It’s a way to fulfill a social duty for society — in this case, to bring more awareness about what happened to Danny and somehow to help spread the word and also to really see what we can learn from this tragedy.”
The opera is scheduled to premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington next June.