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Xiao Hong (1911--1942) was a contemporary of Eileen Chang and perhaps the most celebrated Chinese woman writer of the 1930s. She lived her short life with love, with freedom, and the land and its people always in her heart. Based on her life story, this new chamber opera is a reflection on Xiao's tumultuous life, from her early life in Harbin to her solitary death in Hong Kong, where she completed her most renowned novel, Tales of Hulan River. Librettist Yan Yu's poetic verse brings the character of Xiao Hong vividly to life, and Heart of Coral is a lyrical testament to her unfailing aspiration to love and liberty. Heart of Coral was commissioned and produced by the Hong Kong Arts Festival.