San Francisco Opera Commission ‘Dream Of The Red Chamber’ To Tour People’s Republic Of China

By Francisco Salazar

Dream of the Red Chamber,” commissioned by San Francisco Opera from Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng with a libretto by Sheng and playwright David Henry Hwang, will tour to the People’s Republic of China in September 2017.

In a press conference, it was unveiled that “Dream of the Red Chamber” will travel to three Chinese cities in six performances.

The tour is scheduled to open with two showcases at Beijing’s Poly Theatre on Sept. 8 and 9 and will then be presented as part of the grand opening of the Meixihu International Culture and Arts Centre Grand Theatre in the southern city of Changsha on Sept. 15 and 16. The third and final stop of the tour will be the Qintai Grand Theatre in Wuhan on Sept. 22 and 23.

Sheng will conduct the opera marking the composer’s first time leading his opera. “Dream of the Red Chamber” will be presented in the original production by acclaimed Taiwanese director Stan Lai and Oscar-winning Chinese designer Tim Yip.

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock said in a statement, “’Dream of the Red Chamber had a profound impact in connecting San Francisco Opera to its broader Bay Area community. It’s thrilling, then, that this impact will continue as ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ travels to China in one of the most exciting American–Chinese cultural bridges to emerge in recent years. I couldn’t be more proud that San Francisco Opera was the birthplace of a work that speaks so powerfully to such a broad audience.”

The Chinese tour will star tenor Yijie Shi, who created the role of Bao Yu, soprano He Wu, mezzo-soprano Lin Shi, mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht, contralto Qiulin Zhang, soprano Karen Chia-ling Ho, soprano Yanyu Guo, and Pichead Amornsomboon.

“Dream of the Red Chamber” had its world premiere at San Francisco Opera on Sept. 10, 2016.