A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Opera confirmed that the company will premiere the new opera in 2006. Kristin Chenoweth, who is about to open in Stephen Schwartz's Wicked, will star in the title role.
The opera will feature music by Unsuk Chin and a libretto by award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang. Hwang won the 1988 Best Play Tony for M. Butterfly, and he recently supplied a new book to the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song.
Kristin Chenoweth, who received a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, made her New York theatrical debut opposite Bill Irwin in a production of Molière's Scapin and followed that with a lead role in Kander and Ebb's Steel Pier. Roles in Off-Broadway's A New Brain and the City Center Encores! productions of Strike Up the Band and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever ensued. Chenoweth also starred in her own, short-lived TV series "Kristin," and her other TV appearances include roles in "Frasier" and ABC's television adaptation of the musical Annie. She was also featured opposite Matthew Broderick in the TV production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man.