Fractured Mosaics

March 30, April 1 & 3 2023


Cerise Lim Jacobs
Opera Maker

Nilo Alcala and Deepali Gupta
Composer and Librettist, “Banana Ketchup”

Randall Eng and Monique Truong
Composer and Librettist, “Norfolk”

Ben Kono and Cerise Lim Jacobs
Composer and Librettist, “Music Box Bird”

Liliya Ugay and Sokunthary Svay
Composer and Librettist, “We Meet at the Water”

Art by Cynthia Zhang

An operatic response to the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes, Fractured Mosaics explores the kaleidoscope of cultures and politics of the 20 different ethnic groups that are encompassed under the insufficient umbrella term of “Asian American.” In this live digital opera, five composer-librettist teams create operatic vignettes of Asian Americans establishing themselves in the United States.

View the full program


White Snake Projects' 2021-2022 programming is supported in part by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is made possible by a Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation and Boston Cultural Council, Reopen Creative Boston Fund, administered by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.



Asian Americans are not a monolith.

Underlying the theme of Fractured Mosaics is that even the term “Asian American” is a social and political construct, completely missing the diversity of cultures and politics of the 20 different ethnic groups that are gathered under that umbrella — groups that are geographically spread over more than half the landmass of the Earth.

Fractured Mosaics is White Snake Projects’ latest live virtual opera, created using the software plug-in Tutti Remote which was developed by White Snake Projects to make live, synchronous performances from remote locations possible.

"Banana Ketchup"
By Nilo Alcala and Deepali Gupta
When Simon, a young medical student of Filipino descent meets his biological mother for the first time, they bond over her home-made bottle of banana ketchup, the quintessential Filipino condiment.

By Randall Eng and Monique Truong
Eighty-nine-year-old Dr. Sing is transported from present-day Norfolk, Virginia, back to 1947 and to the Oriental Chop Suey Café, where he is once again a teenager, learning the harsher realities of being Chinese American in the American South and the power of dreaming.

"Music Box Bird"
By Ben Kono and Cerise Lim Jacobs
Through the metaphor of two songbirds, an Asian American woman discovers her inner power to overcome her restrictive upbringing and free herself.

”We Meet At The Water
By Liliya Ugay and Sokunthary Svay
A daughter in NYC speaks with her mother in Cambodia through the water that separates them, and which will soon overcome Mother's village. A moving music-theatre piece exploring the impact of climate change on families around the world.

Jason Chu, Writer and Performer
Randall Eng, Composer


Angela Yam Soprano
Chihiro Asano Mezzo-soprano
Junhan Choi Baritone


Cerise Lim Jacobs Music Box Bird
Deepali Gupta Banana Ketchup
Sokunthary Svay We Meet at the Water
Xu Xi Blue Falls Bridge
jason chu Interludes

The Inspiration

We are often fractured, but when we come together, we form beautiful mosaics.

Fractured Mosaics responds to the surge in Asian American hate. The term “Asian American” is a social and political construct which groups together 20 different ethnic groups originating from more than half the earth’s land mass. Though loosely bound by the color of our skin, we are not a monolith. Our different cultural and political histories are deeply embedded in our origin memories. We struggle to explain what it means to live in a yellow skin - a skin which is not dark enough to deserve protection from violence or discrimination; a skin which is not white enough to be accorded the privileges of whiteness. How do we explain the insidiousness of “yellow racism”? These five scenes by five Asian American composer/writer teams bound together by musical interludes say what words can only say, inadequately. They show what we dream of, what we struggle with and how we triumph. We are often fractured; but when we come together, the fractured mosaics form something beautiful.