Shangri-La is an exciting new modern opera composed by groundbreaking composer and percussionist, Susie Ibarra and award winning Pulitzer Prize poet, Yusef Komunyakaa. It has inspired the creation of a musical language that both complements and integrates western classical music, blues, Thai classical and Thai folk music, as well as contemporary experimental techniques. The musical language created is subtle and whole, yet co-exist playfully in various forms.

In a setting hyped as being a paradise on earth, there are seven main characters including John Wong (a Chinese man who calls himself the Metaphysical Detective) and three American men (Wong calls his Hypothetical Three), and three Thai women who periodically imitate the Supremes in a venue called the Carousel Club. Two of the men characters die: one commits suicide and the other expires ion an overdose of Viagra. John's challenge is to save the remaining one of the Hypothetical three. At the heart of Shangri-La are the conflicting philosophies of Paradise.

Shangri-La is a story of Paradise and Hell, and how these states can easily change and reverse. Set amidst the background of the complex problem of the sex trade industry in South East Asia and the AIDS epidemic. It is told from different points of views of Thai women, Thai families, foreigners and visitors. Amidst this backdrop is a subtlety of expression through music, poetry, lyricism and the drama of a complex mystery and love story.