To begin, Kao Kalia Yang is a brilliant writer and I feel fortunate to be the stage director for the world premiere of this opera based upon her book The Song Poet. And to have her as the librettist along with the wonderful Jocelyn Hagen as the composer, has been a treasure. Since this is my debut with Minnesota Opera, I want to express my gratitude to the whole production team and all the artists involved for their fantastic work in such difficult times. This opera has such a deep well of powerful emotions that I have felt throughout our rehearsal process, and I hope you will feel that as an audience member. The Song Poet is a tale for our times, about how refugees can turn a terrible and tortuous journey into a tremendous success story, where their children can become leaders here in America.