A-Ma as a child, with her mother and aunts
A-Ma as a child, with her mother and aunts


Composer: Justine F. Chen
Composer: Justine F. Chen

Photo Credit: Steven Laxton

A-Ma as a child, with her mother and aunts
A-Ma as a child, with her mother and aunts


For audio, click on the bottom right corner of the video.

SEVEN SISTERS, a chamber opera

Music: Justine F. Chen

Libretto: Stephanie Fleischmann

Director: Aya Ogawa

Dramaturg: Cori Ellison

Music Director: Lidiya Yankovskaya

                                       Video of Aria "Childless"

GRANTS: 2021 OPERA America's New Works Exploration

2020 OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers

2020  WEST EDGE OPERA'S Aperture Portfolio

An unflinching, epic, funny exploration of the dysfunctions of family and the fallout of growing up Taiwanese-American. Juxtaposing the intensely personal with the sweeping presence of the universal, this boldly theatrical new chamber opera veers from the sublime awkwardness of caustic satire to wildly lyrical moments of emotional expansion, weaving together sounds ranging from the glamour of old Hollywood to Taiwanese folk music; Peking Opera; kinetic, pulse-racing rhythms; and a haunting emotional resonance rooted in the timeless struggle for agency and voice. Framed by the ritual of a Taiwanese funeral, and threaded through with the myth of the Pleiades reimagined, Seven Sisters looks at the hard truths of a culture that demeans and disempowers women and asks: How does the next generation move beyond this legacy, bridging a cultural chasm that privileges silence?


Libretto: Oct. 23-28, 2020 - ZOOM - private

 - Libretto Reading Workshop Preview available upon request

Small Piano Vocal: December, 2021 - NYC - location TBA


Sister 1: Lyric Soprano           Sister 2:  Lyric Mezzo-Soprano

Sister 4: Soprano                    Sister 5:  Mezzo-Soprano

Sister 6: Soubrette                  Sister 7:  Coloratura Soprano

Mina/Young Matriarch: Spinto

ORCHESTRATION: 3 vln/ 3 va/ 3 vc/ 1 db/ 1 perc

The development of SEVEN SISTERS received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers Program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

one sheet summary 



Very excited for my Merola debut 7.30.21 at 8 PM PT! Come join!

Look out for my Banff debut on August 14th 8:30 PM ET!!  Stay Tuned!

CONGRATULATIONS to my dear performers, Russell Iceberg and Stephen Joven-Lee performing Testing 1-2-3 at Bowdoin's Gamper Festival! 7/8!

Working on my first film opera! Also, my first collaboration with librettist Jackie Goldfinger and Maria Sensi-Sellner's Resonance Works!! Stay tuned for more details!!

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