When a new opera is produced, dozens of artists and craftspeople from various disciplines come together around a shared dramatic and musical vision. This collaboration requires extraordinary skill, and cooperation on a grand scale.
San Francisco Opera’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, composed by Stewart Wallace with a libretto by novelist Amy Tan, brought together singers, designers and musicians from three continents. Many were steeped in the Western operatic tradition, but for others, it was an introduction to American opera.
This collection focuses on the joys and challenges of collaboration, with reflections from several of the artists who brought The Bonesetter’s Daughter to life.
Stewart Wallace and Amy Tan were friends before they began their collaboration on The Bonesetter’s Daughter. After Stewart convinced Amy to turn her bestselling novel into an opera, and to try her hand as librettist, they worked closely together to research the music and traditional culture of China, and to write the opera itself.