Island of Peoples

April 27, 2020 - 8:00pm
Rose Recital Hall, 3340 Walnut Street, Room 419


Island of Peoples is a multimedia concert based on stories of immigrants coming to the United States and draws inspiration and material from the stories of the Ellis Island Oral Histories, a project of the Ellis Island Museum, that preserves and collect interviews of US immigrants who went through Ellis Island between 1900 and 1954. The concert includes original material obtained directly from actual immigrant interviews.


These interviews include amazing stories of struggle, pain and sadness, but also of joy, love, friendship and faith. In the opera, the stories are told and unfold intertwined around a few common traits: the longing for home, the perils of traveling for days, and the cultural, social and human uncertainties of the new world. The stories reveal common aspects that become a sort of collective memory, that reach and touch universal, human experiences that everyone can relate to: we are all “wanderers,” and to be an immigrant, to be eradicated, just makes this perception more acute.


Project by Gabriele Vanoni, with Ensemble/Parallax (Peyman Farzinpour, Artistic Director) and Malo Lacroix (Video Art)  


Featured image: Newly arrived immigrants await examination at the Ellis Island between c. 1907 and 1921 (detail) | Courtesy of Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration