"Dream of the Red Chamber," an opera adapted from one of the most famous Chinese novels and commissioned by the San Francisco Opera, will be staged at Beijing's Poly Theater on September 8 and 9.
Based on the book Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as The Story of the Stone) by 18th-century Qing Dynasty writer Cao Xueqin, the opera focuses on the illustrious Jia clan and the tragic love story of Jia's young heir Bao Yu with two very different women: Dai Yu, his spiritual soulmate, and Bao Chai, a worldly beauty. When the Emperor rejects Princess Jia as his favored concubine, the Jia family's future is threatened along with the union between Bao Yu and Dai Yu.
The opera features an English-language libretto by the composer and acclaimed playwright David Henry Hwang, winner of the 1988 Broadway Tony Award for Best Play for M. Butterfly. It is produced by a group of artists that includes MacArthur-winning Shanghai-born composer Bright Sheng, Tony-winning American-born playwright David Hwang, and iconic Taiwanese director Stan Lai.
The opera had its world premiere at the San Francisco Opera in September last year, the first time the classical Chinese novel had been transported to a Western stage.
Beijing is the first stop of its China tour. It then moves to Changsha for the opening of the Meixihu International Culture and Arts Center Grand Theater on Sept. 15 and 16, closing at the Qintai Grand Theater in Wuhan on Sept. 22 and 23.
If you go:
7:30 pm, Sep 8-9. 14 South Street, Dongzhimen, Dongcheng District, Beijing. (86)010-65001188
Ticket Price: 100-2017 yuan