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Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert, Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ Mỹ Lai

  1. Classical |
  2. Classical Crossover |
  3. Opera

Release Date: 5/20/2022
Smithsonian Folkways
Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert, Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ - Mỹ Lai

"A gripping affair, beginning to end." - New York Times

On March 16, 1968, the United States Army killed over 500 unarmed civilians in the hamlet of Mỹ Lai, Vietnam. The unimaginable brutality of the event impacted all those who witnessed it firsthand, including helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, who, against orders, intervened to save Vietnamese lives.

Thompson’s story is the basis of the opera Mỹ Lai, composed by Jonathan Berger (music) and Harriet Scott Chessman (libretto) for Kronos Quartet, Vietnamese multi-instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, and vocalist Rinde Eckert. This definitive recording of Mỹ Lai captures the visceral, phantasmal depictions of Thompson’s grief, horror, and guilt as he is haunted by persistent memories of that cataclysmic day, half a world and nearly four decades away.

Tense and unforgiving, Mỹ Lai is “a gripping affair, beginning to end” (New York Times). Presented here alongside recollections by Vietnamese survivor Trần Văn Đức, it is a memorial to all the Mỹ Lai villagers killed on that grim day.

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