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Tenor By Night (Musical) Performance

Dancing Mannequins

The new original work, 'Mannequin Man by Day, Tenor by Night'


Upcoming Performances in 2018

El Portal Theatre

Saturday Sept 22nd at 2pm and 7:30pm
Sunday Sept 23rd at 2pm and 7:30pm
Tuesday Sept 25th at 7:30pm
Wednesday Sept 26th at 7:30p





James Chiao is a composer, opera singer, mannequin business owner and designer, recent MFA graduate of CalArts music program, loving husband, and proud father of two.

Born in Guangzhou, China in 1949, he is one of three sons of the famous Chinese composer Fei Chiao, who is most known for his Chinese folk songs "The Moonlight" and "Early Spring in Mountain Village. James' life journey included many ups and downs.

James grew up during China's Cultural Revolution. During this turbulent time, many intellectuals and musicians were persecuted and treated unfairly. As his own family had a musical background, James was sent to the countryside for 6 years, where he farmed the land and roamed the waters as a fisherman.

In 1980, he immigrated to United States, living in Los Angeles. Through hard work and determination, he found his wife, started a family, and built a successful business selling mannequins. His company CNL mannequins has become a leading mannequin company in the US, providing mannequins to department stores, such as Macy's. Although he had achieved the American Dream, he still felt like something was missing in his life.

Then, one day in 1998, James was traveling with his family in a redwood forest in northern California. He was so enchanted by the natural wonders before his eyes that he could not resist singing “O Sole Mio”. James’ father, Fei Chiao, a famous Cantonese composer, was surprised to hear his untrained son sing out. He enthusiastically told James, “You should be a TENOR!”

Encouraged by his father, James trained hard with his composer father and brother Ping, who was a well-known tenor in China. In 2001, they formed the 3 Chiao Tenors, singing Italian opera, English songs, and Chinese folk songs in concerts across the US and China.

In 2017, James graduated from CalArts at age 68, earning his MFA in the music program.

He is hard at work composing and writing his own musical "Mannequin Man By Day, Tenor By Night."                     


Earlier Event: September 14
Piggy Time: Variety Show
Later Event: March 29
Piggy Time - Lyric Hyperion Theatre