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The Song Poet

The Song Poet

In her book, “The Song Poet,” Kao Kalia Yang tells the life of her father Bee Yang.

Bee was driven from the mountains of Laos by “America’s Secret War.” Bee lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other. He would whisper the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born.

But then, as a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, the songs begin to fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project. Before the music fades, Bee, with his poetry, polishes a life of poverty for his children so they might shine.

The first Hmong story adapted for the operatic stage, Yang’s memoir comes to life in the world premiere of “The Song Poet.” The production is a collaboration between Minnesota Opera and Theater Mu.

“The Song Poet” will be presented Mar. 9–26, 2023, at the Luminary Arts Center in Minneapolis.



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