“Dream of the Red Chamber” opera to tour China

Updated 2017-08-17 19:30:09 Xinhua

"Dream of the Red Chamber," an opera adapted from one of the most famous Chinese novels and commissioned by the San Francisco Opera, will tour China starting September 8, 2017.

The opera is produced by a group of artists that includes MacArthur-winning Shanghai-born composer Bright Sheng, Tony-winning American-born playwright David Hwang, American-born Taiwanese director Stan Lai and Oscar-winning Hong Kong-born designer Tim Yip.

The opera debuted at the San Francisco Opera in September last year, the first time the classical Chinese novel had been transported to the Western operatic stage.

The novel, set in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), depicts the rise and fall of four prestigious clans and reflects the decadence of feudal aristocracy.

The opera follows the tragic love story of three young characters -- the much coddled but rebellious boy Baoyu, and his cousins Daiyu and Baochai. Baoyu's vain struggle against his suffocating feudal family finally results in the death of his true love Daiyu, and an unwanted marriage with Baochai.

As one of the most studied Chinese novels by academics, Dream of the Red Chamber is known for its nuanced depiction of characters, profound observations about society and striking storylines and writing style.

"The story is told with a new perspective by switching scenes between the real world and illusion, showing the audience the beauty of dream and the harshness of reality. It inspires people to pursue beauty and love," Lai said.

The opera is scheduled for six performances in Beijing, Changsha and Wuhan.

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