Diana Liao, Lecturer of Linguistics
Born and educated in Hong Kong, Diana Liao graduated from the University of Hong Kong, where she majored in comparative literature and translation, followed by postgraduate studies in journalism at the Université de Paris V in France.
Liao has a life long fascination with words in various languages and their relationship with perceived realities. Passionate for Chinese and English literature, then branching out to French, Russian, Spanish and most recently to Italian and Latin, she divided her 32 years in New York between working as a simultaneous interpreter at the United Nations during the day and writing at night.
Her works include collaborations with composer Tan Dun on the English libretto for
Tea: A Mirror of Soul (2002) and lyrics for 2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium (2000). She also worked closely with the playwright Xu Ying to produce the bilingual opera Wenji (2001) with music by Bun Ching Lam, and Poet Li Bai by Guo Wenjing.
Since 2004, she has devoted herself to writing, dividing her time between New York and
Hong Kong. She assisted Dutch filmmaker Frank Scheffer in translating his documentary on Tea (2005) and choreographer Shen Wei for his Second Visit to the Empress (2005), a modern dance based on a Peking opera. She did the English translation for Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution (2007), for Zhang Hong’s Kunqu “Dream on Dreams”(2007), Zuni’s “God Came to China” (2008), and Zhang Hong’s Kunqu “A Tale of the Forbidden City” (2009). She wrote the libretto for the opera “Matteo Ricci” which premiered in Hong Kong in November, 2010. Her most recent commission is adapting Eileen Chang’s “Love in the Fallen City” for a musical to be produced by Zuni.