Takaoki Onishi (The Man); Mihoko Kinoshita (Hana); Ji Hyun Jang (Rei); Nina Yoshida Nelsen (The Woman).

BWW Reviews: HGO's THE MEMORY STONE is Haunting, Gorgeous, and Spellbinding
Houston Grand Opera (HGO)'s 50th World Premiere Opera had its first public performance last night at Asia Society Texas Center. This enchanting chamber opera is a gorgeous and stirring piece that examines the power and necessity of memory for the advancement of the human species. It opens with rollicking thunder and a stunning, breathtaking image that is representative of the destruction of Japan in wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. As a woman sings about various terrible and destructive moments from Japan's rich history, the scene shifts to the tea room in Houston's Japanese garden. Here the non-linear opera explores how such tragedies affect Japanese-Americans and immigrants from Japan, deftly playing on the emotions, sympathy, and empathy of the assembled audience. The compelling opera elicited several gasps of sorrow, pain, and understanding from the opening night audience as the beauty of the piece spoke to our hearts, minds, and souls.

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