Today, the San Francisco Opera presents the world première performance of Bright Sheng's new opera, Dream of the Red Chamber, with a libretto in English by David Henry Hwang and Bright Sheng, after Cao Xueqin's novel.
It i the composer's fifth opera. His previous workd for the stage include The Song of Majnun (1992) and Madame Mao (2003).
Despite his love for Dai Yu, Bao Yu is destined to marry another cousin, an attractive heiress, who might reverse the family’s declining fortunes. (reproduced from the San Francisco Opera website)The cast includes soprano Pureum Jo (Dai Yu), tenor Yijie Shi (Bao Yu), mezzo Hyona Kim (Lady Wang), mezzo Irene Roberts (Bao Chai), contralto Qiulin Zhang (Granny Jia) and soprano Karen Chia-ling Ho (Princess Jia). George Manahan conducts the San Francisco Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Stan Lai directs.
The required orchestra is the following :
- 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons ;
- 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone ;
- harp and piano ;
- strings ;
- 2 Chinese instruments.
The performance should last about 3 hours, including one intermission. This opera is a coproduction with the Hong Kong Arts Festival. There will be two more performances there on March 17 and 18, 2017.