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50 Years After The My Lai Massacre, An Opera Confronts The Past

"One of the most horrible events of the Vietnam War took place 50 years ago this week. The story of Hugh Thompson, Jr., the American soldier who tried to stop the My Lai Massacre, has been made into an opera being performed all over the country, most recently at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA — the same location composer Jonathan Berger gathered instrumentalist Van-Anh Vanessa Vo and Kronos Quartet founder David Harrington to discuss the collaboration in the first place."

"I was 13, 14 years old when it happened," Berger says of the massacre. "A riveting moment. For me, it was sort of my political awakening."

Later, Berger would learn of U.S. Army pilot Hugh Thompson, Jr., who witnessed American soldiers on a bloody rampage, raping and killing Vietnamese civilians that day.

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