The Arrivals wash up on the shore. They make contact with another civilization they call “the Hosts.” And from there, the story splinters, as you follow diverging experiences. Sweet Land is an opera that erases itself: As the audience processes through the LA State Historic Park, the space behind you disappears, in a musical and visual experience revealing the mechanism of historic erasure.
The company that created Invisible Cities and Hopscotch now brings you a grotesque historical pageant that disrupts the dominant narrative of American identity.
Like all of The Industry’s previous works, Sweet Land is the result of a highly collaborative and multi-perspectival approach. Composer Du Yun is a Chinese immigrant whose recent work originates from what she states “is a lack of understanding and empathy around immigration”. Her last major opera, Angel’s Bone won a Pulitzer Prize for music and explores the psychology behind human trafficking. Composer Raven Chacon, recent Berlin Prize awardee, is originally from the Navajo Nation and advocates for Native American and First Nations composers and musicians. Librettist Douglas Kearney is a poet whose “polyphonic diction pulls history apart, recombining it to reveal an alternative less whitewashed by enfranchised power” (BOMB Magazine). Librettist Aja Couchois Duncan is a mixed-race Ojibwe writer who works to advance equity and social justice. Cannupa Hanksa Luger is a multidisciplinary artist who interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st-century Indigeneity. He co-directs Sweet Land with Yuval Sharon, the Founder and Artistic Director of The Industry and a 2017 MacArthur Fellow.
Sweet Land is supported in part by generous grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, LA County Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.
The Commissioning of Du Yun for Sweet Land received funding from OPERA America’s Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.