Carolyn Choa was born and educated in Hong Kong, and graduated from Hull University and London Contemporary Dance School. She is the director and choreographer of Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (seasons: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014). The production was created at ENO in London (2005) and toured to Lithuanian National Opera (2006).
Here, she explains why she supports the Prize:
“There is a wealth of literary talent amongst young people in this country and any breaking down of barriers to allow new expression has to be a good thing. This literary prize opens up an opportunity for women who have the creativity, discipline and fortitude to become serious writers, but who may not yet have found a platform for their art. The prize endeavours to encourage those not born into the mainstream of British culture, and offers a possible course towards the rich, all-embracing intellectual landscape of which Britain so rightly boasts.”
Choreography credits include: The Storyteller series, The Greek Myths series (Jim Henson/Channel 4), The Bartered Bride (Belfast Opera), Eugene Onegin, Lakmé (RCM), The Land of Smiles (RAM), Mirandolina (Lyric Hammersmith), The Crucible (LAMDA), Opera Showcase (QEH), Moll Flanders (Granada), The English Patient (Miramax), The Talented Mr. Ripley (Paramount/Miramax), Feast of Snails (London West End), Danscross (Beijing Dance Academy), Kommilitonen! (RAM and Julliard), Pilgrim’s Progress (ENO), Parsifal (Opera Lyon / The Metropolitan Opera in New York).
She produced the film The Wisdom of Crocodiles and has worked as a consultant for Miramax as well as a translator on several Chinese films, including Hero (director Zhang Yimou), The Promise (director Chen Kaige), Curse of the Golden Flower (director Zhang Yimou), The Banquet (director Feng Xiaogang), The Flowers of War (director Zhang Yimou), Let the Bullets Fly (director Zhang Wen). She was co-editor and translator of The Vintage Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction.
Dance credits include The King and I (Dance Captain, Angel George, Palladium) Mantis (UK, Far East and European tours), Muna Tseng Dance Projects (The Place, Riverside Studios, Purcell Room, Athens), many seasons at the ROH and ENO, and the Princess in The Soldier’s Tale (UK tour). Carolyn was one of the directors of ENO Opera Works, a modular course for young singers, and has also led workshops for the University of the Arts (2010 and 2011).
Together with David Kneuss and Doug Varone, she was a guest speaker at the 92nd St Y in NY on the series ‘Movement Talks’ (April 2014). She was co-leader of a discourse on the Dao De Jing at the Meridian Chinese Studies School in London in the Spring of 2014. Upcoming projects include directing ‘Die Fledermaus’ for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (Spring, 2015), and an original opera currently in development in HK.
Carolyn shared the Olivier award with Anthony Minghella for outstanding contribution to opera for their production of Madama Butterfly, and was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement awards in 2009. ‘Parsifal’, for which she did the choreography, was the recipient of the Claude Rostland 2012 Award for Best production by the French Critics’ Association.