Eight outdoor performances from May 5 through 15, 2022

(Los Angeles) February 10, 2022 — LA Opera and The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens will present an outdoor, site-specific staging of the opera On Gold Mountain. Based on author Lisa See’s bestselling book about her Chinese American family’s immigrant experience in California, the opera features a colorful musical score by composer Nathan Wang, who will conduct the production. Eight performances will be held in the Huntington's Chinese Garden from Thursday, May 5, through Sunday, May 15, presented as part of LA Opera's Connects initiative of educational and community engagement programming. Tickets will go on sale February 15 at Huntington.org.

On Gold Mountain, which premiered in 2000 at the Aratani Theater in Los Angeles, tells the story of See’s great-grandfather, Fong See, who emigrated from China to California in the 19th century. Arriving in the United States alone at age 14 in search of his father, Fong See faced discrimination and challenges, but with hard work, determination and ambition, he eventually became a successful businessman. Despite laws against interracial marriage at the time, he married a white American woman, Lettice “Ticie” Pruett, and they had five children. Fong See’s journey takes the audience from China to Los Angeles’ Chinatown, where he became a prominent community member and opened an antique shop that is still owned by the family today.

Blending Western and traditional Chinese music, Wang’s musical score will be performed by an orchestra composed of members of the LA Opera Orchestra and student musicians from the greater Los Angeles community. Casting for the production is underway. On Gold Mountain will be directed by Jennifer Chang with a libretto by See.

On Gold Mountain will be the second opera in The Song of Los Angeles, a five-opera cycle of community opera performances around the county leading up to the Olympic celebrations in Los Angeles in 2028. The first production in the cycle is The Three Women of Jerusalem (Las tres mujeres de Jerusalén) by Carla Lucero, premiering on March 19, 2022, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

TicketsTickets for On Gold Mountain will be available on February 15. For details, visit huntington.org/on-gold-mountain. Tickets are $135 for LA Opera Patrons and subscribers and for Huntington members, and $150 for the general public.

About the CreatorsLisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, The Island of Sea Women and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. Her 1995 book On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. She has also written a mystery series that takes place in China. Her books have been published in 39 languages. She was the recipient of the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Association of Southern California and the History Maker’s Award from the Chinese American Museum. She was also named National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women. Archives from the See family are held at The Huntington in the Lisa See Collection and the Gilbert, Florence, and Leslee See Leong Collection. Photographs and documents from these archives will be incorporated into the production of On Gold Mountain.

Nathan Wang, a winner of multiple Emmys and seven Drama-Logue awards, is one of the most prolific and versatile Chinese American composers in Hollywood and Asia. After graduating from Pomona College in Claremont, California, he received a Rotarian Ambassador Fellowship to attend Oxford University for graduate studies. He has scored numerous films, documentaries and television series on both sides of the Pacific, and he has written musicals that have been performed in Los Angeles, New York (off-Broadway) and Beijing. He is The Huntington’s sixth Cheng Family Foundation Visiting Artist. The residency was endowed by the Cheng Family Foundation in 2014 to promote understanding of Chinese culture through music, performance, poetry and art.

About LA OperaLos Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.

In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative, which offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings, reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. Learn more at LAOpera.org.

About The HuntingtonThe Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a cultural and educational institution of global significance. Building on Henry E. and Arabella Huntington’s renowned collections, The Huntington supports research and promotes education in the arts, humanities, and botanical science through the growth and preservation of its collections; the development of a community of scholars, school programs, and partnerships; and the display and interpretation of its extraordinary resources for diverse audiences. The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. For visitor information, visit huntington.org.

Luz Villarreal
Director of Communications

LA Opera is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.