The White Bird of Poston

  • en
Performing Arts

May 201115

Japanese American National Museum
100 N Central Ave
Los Angeles, California, 90012
United States

This new piece is being produced in LA Opera's In School Opera program for Secondary Schools this year. The Composer is Eli Villanueva. The Librettist is Leslie Stevens. In the high school performances, this 47 minute original opera will have four professional principal singers, three professional musicians with original set, costume and lighting design. The participating students will become the singing, moving, acting chorus; playing Japanese American Internees, American soldiers, and the animals of the desert. 

THE WHITE BIRD OF POSTON is the story of a fifteen-year-old Japanese American girl, Akiko, who is sent to the Poston internment camp in the Arizona desert shortly after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. She encounters unforeseen obstacles but also blessings, including a Native American young man, a talking Coyote, and the spirit of her Grandmother. Through lessons in Courage, Faith and her own Prejudice, Akiko finds a way to stay connected to her traditions and move forward as American young woman. She will be a leader for her community. 

The story was inspired in part by the watercolor paintings of Chizuko Judy Sugita de Quieroz, who was in Poston at 9 years old. 

For more information about the LA Opera, visit


JANM . Last modified May 17 2011 1:03 p.m.


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