Saxophonist, author, composer, band leader, and social activist Fred Ho (1957-2014) is now listed in the database.
Ho’s inclusion showcases some of the challenges that I encounter while compiling this database. Ho as a composer and instrumentalist exist outside of the traditional opera and ballet world. His music is not listed on any of the major publishers or rental companies. But his music fits within the definitions of opera. He’s one of the first composers to blend elements of traditional Chinese opera into his works. In the article from the Asian American Writer’s Workshop from 1999, Ho outlines how he weaves ideas on social justice, race, and politics into his music which exists outside of the traditional labels of jazz or classical music.
I wasn’t able to find information on each score in catalogs because it appears his music hasn’t been published in the traditional sense. He publishes under Transformation Art Publishers. In order to find his scores, his archives are located in two libraries: Harvard and the University of Connecticut. Recordings are easy to come by, and I even found a video of one of his ballets, Voice of the Dragon 1: Once Upon a Time in Chinese America. If you’re unfamiliar with the works of Fred Ho, check out his listings in the database.