So happy and sad to say goodbye to the wonderful production of "The White Bird of Poston" composed and directed by Eli Villanueva. I had the pleasure of performing alongside LeRoy Villanueva, Charlie Kim and Miki Yamashita for the last month through LA Opera's Education and Community Engagement program.
This was such an incredible experience and such an important piece to be presenting and sharing during these difficult times we are facing. This is a piece about a young Japanese girl, Akiko, (my role) who was moved into the Poston Internment Camps along with 17,000 other Japanese Americans in 1941-42. The story is about fighting for justice and tradition and family. Fighting for freedom and purpose. Fighting for peace and love. Not only was it beautiful to sing, but it was monumental to be telling this tremendous story with middle and high school students all over Los Angeles.
We had the privilege of moving from school to school every day and offering a new and unique version of this show; it was truly incredible to watch the different evolutions of the production as each ensemble and venue changed. These students had an opportunity to be expressive, and honest and brave. I feel so lucky and transformed to have shared this remarkable experience with all of them and the wonderful team we worked with.
A HUGE thank you to the technical team (Sam, Laurie, Tim, Adam, Steven, Felipe, Ben, Matt), musical team (Dan Redfield, Brian Kennedy and Ray Frisby) and development team at LA Opera (Stacy Brighten, Jennifer Babcock, Nathan Rifenburg, Tony Roman). I will be forever grateful for this experience and will be like Akiko in my own life, striving for love, justice and peace.
Pictured left to right: LeRoy Villanueva (Sergeant and Coyote), Kelci Hahn (Akiko), Miki Yamashita (Teacher and White Bird) and Charlie Kim (Grandfather and Boy).