Tea: A Mirror of Soul Revolutionizes Opera

-

Baritone Haijing Fu is Seikyo with tenor Roger Honeywll as the Prince in the Opera Company of Philadelphia's East Coast Premiere of Tan Dun's TEA: A MIRROR OF SOUL, running through February 28th at the Academy of Music.Opera, like many of the more tr

Baritone Haijing Fu is Seikyo with tenor Roger Honeywll as the Prince in the Opera Company of Philadelphia's East Coast Premiere of Tan Dun's TEA: A MIRROR OF SOUL, running through February 28th at the Academy of Music.Opera, like many of the more traditional art forms, does not deserve its bum rep. Known for its over-the-top dramatics, the Western tradition of combining libretto (text or lyrics) with a musical score takes on a contemporary twist in Tea: A Mirror of Soul, which enjoyed its US East Cost Premiere last Friday and runs through February 28th at the Academy of Music. Whether you are an opera fan or novice, Tea: A Mirror of Soul will change your opinion of opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.

Acclaimed composer Tan Dun, who won both Oscar and Grammy awards for his score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, brings an Eastern flair to opera in Tea: A Mirror of Soul. His unique use of sound effects – from water splashing to paper crinkling – increases the dimensions a classical score can achieve. The onstage percussion becomes part of the drama of the opera, resonating above the pit orchestra and enhancing the libretto. The prosaic text, which is sung in English, was written by Tan Dun and Xu Ying.

Drawing on the basic elements of fire, water, paper and stone, Tea: A Mirror of Soul tells the story of Seikyo (played by baritone Haijing Fu), who was once a prince, but became a monk after the loss of his true love, Princess Lan (played by soprano Kelly Kaduce). Through numerous metaphors (many not so subtle ones in the love scene), the story rises to conflict when the Princess’ brother (sung by tenor Roger Honeywell) wagers a deadly bet with Seikyo. The cast also includes The Emperor (played by bass Kirk Eichelberger) and the Lu, the tea ritualist (sung by mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby).

The bold, striking scenes sit quite at home on the grandiose stage at the Academy of Music (designed by Rumi Matsui). The set’s vibrant colors are matched in the exquisite costuming, completing the modern Asian motif (costumes designed by Masatoma Ota). Director Amon Miyamoto has been with Tea: A Mirror of Soul since its American Premier for the Santa Fe Opera in 2007. Tan Dun conducted the opening weekend, and Maestro David Hayes will continue for the final three performances.

Baritone Haijing Fu is Seikyo in the Opera Company of Philadelphia's East Coast Premiere of Tan Dun's TEA: A MIRROR OF SOUL, running through February 28th at the Academy of Music.

 

Schedule Details:

Friday, February 19, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets. 

Estimated Running Time: 2 hours

 

 

Share this article

Recent posts

Recovery Survivors Have A Better Success Rate By Doing This One Thing

By Jason Lewis Eliminating consumption of drugs and alcohol and enrolling in a treatment program are the first steps in the recovery process. However, it...

Hot Sauce From West Africa Hits US Groceries For More Food Inclusion

It’s no surprise that hot sauce represents a major food connection. It even holds tremendous sentimental value for all sorts of diverse...

PKU Awareness Month Spotlights Philadelphia native, Mark Slopey

May is PKU Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of this rare, lifelong genetic condition. A Philadelphia native, Mark Slopey, has...

3 Innovations in Healthcare That Can Lead to Faster Medical Treatment

Here are three such innovations in healthcare that are helping to provide faster, more efficient treatment.

How to Become a Nurse in Pennsylvania

Nurses are in great demand all over the country, and if you have your credentials, you pretty much have your pick as...

Popular categories

1 COMMENT

  1. Bravo

    Nice review, Rachel- and bravo to Tea! I have been a Philadelphia Opera Company subscriber for more than a decade and with dozens of operas under my belt I was simply astounded at Tea. It is a uniquely beautiful opera that I would like to see return to our stage.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent comments

focus9 on Lens
George Leon on Talk Like A Pirate Day
Joe Vallee on Lidge Falters….Again
George Leon on Conspiracy? Not So Much
George Leon on The Tea Parties
focus9 on PennDot As Cop
George Leon on Betting Against America
George Leon on Hatred in America
secretariot on Partying with Paris
George Leon on I Predict A Riot
George Leon on Horror From The Airwaves