“Angel Island Oratorio,” a work inspired by immigrant poetry inscribed at the Angel Island barracks
Del Sol String Quartet is commissioning Chinese-born American Huang Ruo to create a bilingual oratorio for string quartet and chamber choir, inspired by poetry inscribed on the walls of the Angel Island barracks between 1910 and 1940. These words of detained immigrants suffering under the Chinese Exclusion Act will be the inspiration for the sung and spoken texts. The poems will provide the skeleton of the work, sung in Chinese by Volti, a contemporary chamber choir. A narrative in English will weave more universal themes of immigration and discrimination around the poetry.
Del Sol will partner with community-based organizations for outreach efforts including Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Chinese Historical Society of America, and others. It is anticipated that the work will premiere at Angel Island State Park in 2020, with potential repeat performances in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and New York/Ellis Island.