Seattle Opera to Present Huang Ruo’s ‘Bound’

By Nicolas Quiroga

Seattle Opera will present “Bound” starting on June 9, 2023. 

The opera by composer Huang Ruo and librettist Bao-Long Chu, is based on the true story of Diane Tran, a 17-year-old student of Vietnamese descent who had to spend a night in jail after missing too many days from school. The reason? She was working two jobs to support her family. 

“To me, a Vietnamese refugee living in America, the notion of being bound to one’s culture (and the struggles therein) is not just an idea, but my life writ large,” said Chu in an official press statement. “So when I heard Diane’s story, I recognized many aspects of my own family’s journey. I wrote this opera in a way that not only reflects a particular Vietnamese American experience, but also resonates with all of us as human beings.”

The opera will star soprano Karen Vuong in the role of Diane Tran; mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen as Khanh; and the bass-baritone Daniel Klein, who will make his company debut. Desdemona Chiang directs with Ruo, in his Seattle debut, conducts. 

The production will run through June 18, 2023 at Tagney Jones Hall.