San Francisco Opera (SFO) will see its new production Dream of the Red Chamber go on tour to China in September, 2017. Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng created the opera, with Sheng co-writing the libretto alongside American playwright David Henry Hwang. The opera originally premiered in San Fancisco on 10 September, 2016.
Dream of the Red Chamber’s tour begins with two dates in Beijing (8-9 September), followed by two dates in Changsha (15-16 September). The trip ends in Wuhan with performances on 22-23 September.
The opera is based on Cao Xueqin’s 18th century romantic novel, which is considered a classic of Chinese literature. In it, a love triangle develops between members of two aristocratic families: the Rongguo House and the Ningguo House. As the story progresses the Rongguo House falls out of favour with the emperor, with their wealth and possessions confiscated.
SFO general director Matthew Shilvock said: “Dream of the Red Chamber had a profound impact in connecting SFO 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.”
Sheng will conduct during the tour – the first time he has conducted his opera. In Beijing he will lead the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, while in Changsha and Wuhan he conducts Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra. Four members of the original SFO world premiere cast return for the tour.