‘Mila’ new opera highlights the plight of a Filipino domestic helper

NEW YORK — Filipina soprano Stefanie Quintin plays the title role of “Mila,” in an original chamber opera that takes the audience inside a Hong Kong family’s home — where the unseen struggles of an abused Filipina domestic helper are uncovered.

Quintin originated the role of Mila in its Hong Kong production in January 2018, and Asia Society is bringing this production to New York this weekend.

It tackles the vulnerability of domestic helpers, how they are being mistreated in their employers’ homes.

Mila captures the relationships and tensions within a Hong Kong family – including an American husband, his Cantonese wife, their troubled son and their Filipina help.

“Having a story of a migrant domestic worker in this different medium is very important for the migrants because it means that we are seen, noticed and heard.”

At the end of the day, Quintin said, this story sends a big message to the employers of domestic workers.

“Sana mas maging mabait ang mga employers sa kanilang mga domestic workers, sana tratuhin nilang pamilya.”

“I hope employers are nicer to their hired help and that they treat them like family.”

Mila will be staged at the Angel Orensanz Center in Manhattan for one night on December 7.

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