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He has spent much of his career composing experimental operas, from the dance-centered Kabbalah (1989) to the surrealist Hopper's Wife (1992). Two of his operas have been premiered at the Houston Grand Opera, Where's Dick? (1989) and Harvey Milk (1995); the latter of which was based on the life of its namesake. His most recent opera, The Bonesetter's Daughter, uses a libretto by Amy Tan which is based on her novel of the same name. The Bonesetter's Daughter premiered at the War Memorial Opera House of the San Francisco Opera in 2008.
The New York City Opera announced that it would stage the East Coast premiere of Wallace's “Hopper’s Wife” — a 1997 chamber opera about an imagined marriage between the painter Edward Hopper and the gossip columnist Hedda Hopper -- at Harlem Stage from April 28 through May 1, 2016.
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