Journey to the West featured in Cha's "Writing Hong Kong" December 26, 2017 by Melanie Ho An excerpt from Journey to the West was published in the tenth anniversary issue of literary journal Cha, themed "Writing Hong Kong". While an Asian Butterfly is not a rarity, it is hardly de rigueur either. In many ways, the art of opera is blind to race: audiences accept a Chinese soprano playing an Ethiopian princess, an African-American playing Italian noblewoman or a Swedish soprano as the Chinese Turandot. What matters—what has always mattered—is the voice. In the past few decades, and especially with the advent of live and high-definition broadcasts, movement and acting have taken on greater importance. Cio-Cio-san, for example, is not just Japanese, but a fifteen-year old girl and sopranos are thus tasked with making a character often half or sometimes a quarter their age feel believable. It is now the expectation; when a soprano’s voice works but the movements and facial expressions are off-key, the audience takes note.