E pluribus unum! In celebration of the Kennedy Center’s 50th season, the Washington National Opera presents four interwoven world premieres inspired by the capital’s monuments. In David Henry Hwang and Huang Ruo’s The Rift, Karen Vuong appears as Maya Lin, the 21-year-old architecture student whose stark, nonrepresentational design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial continues to haunt the imagination. Kamala Sankaram and A. M. Homes’s Rise evokes the little-known Portrait Monument of 1921, which represents three women who made history and leaves a blank where a fourth face might be; Suzannah Waddington is cast as The Monument. Bookending the evening are Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran’s Chantal, a meditation on the American concept of the monumental, and it all falls down, by Marc Basmuthi Joseph and Carlos Simon, in which a father and son meet on opposite sides of a same-sex-marriage rally outside the Supreme Court. —M.G.
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