The Sunday Opera: World Premiere of "The Dream of the Red Chamber" - San Francisco Opera

Oct 5, 2017

Porcelain plate detail of Dai Yu, one of the "Twelve Beauties" found in "The Dream of the Red Chamber"

The world premiere production of Chinese American composer Bright Sheng’s “Dream of the Red Chamber” is this week’s Sunday Opera.  (10/8  3:00 p.m.)  The task of adapting this mid-18th century novel which consists of 120 chapters and nearly 600 named characters fell to Tony Award Winning playwright David Henry Hwang who focused on the tale of one of the “twelve beauties” of the story Dai-yu and her tragic love for Bao Yu.  It’s a story of love, treachery, and loss.  The primarily Asian cast features Pureum Jo as the doomed Dai-yu and Yijie Shi as Bao Yu. Joining them are Hyona Kim, Qiulin Zhang, Chia-ling Ho, Yanyu Gao, and Irene Roberts.  More music of Bright Sheng will be featured after the opera when host Michael Kownacky will present Sheng’s ballet “The Nightingale and the Rose,” another story of lost love, which is based on the story by Oscar Wilde.  The final hour will feature some traditional Asian music and a few pieces, such as Hovhaness’ Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints that embraced the Asian influence in the arts.