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.
Han Feng grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China, and moved to New York in the 1980’s where her career as a fashion designer took off. After designing the costumes for director Anthony Minghella’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, she was approached by Amy Tan, producer Sarina Tang and director Chen Shi-Zheng to design the costumes for The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Here she explains her reluctance to participate, which she felt would require reopening the wounds of her painful past.