In this arresting new opera by acclaimed composer Huang Ruo (Dr. Sun Yat-sen), traditional Chinese and contemporary Western idioms intertwine within an exquisite setting by visual artist Jennifer Wen Ma, known for her Emmy Award–winning work on the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Reimagining and fusing the biblical story of Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the vivid dream of Du Liniang in The Peony Pavilion, Paradise Interrupted opens with a woman alone onstage, dreaming of an erotic encounter with her ideal lover. This dream triggers a psychological journey through a surreal, interactive garden made from dynamic paper sculptures. The woman is portrayed by Qian Yi, “China’s reigning opera princess” (New York Times), whose performance in Lincoln Center Festival’s famous 20-hour production of The Peony Pavilion in 1999 introduced New Yorkers to the 600-year-old Kun opera tradition.
Taiwanese conductor Wen-Pin Chien leads a chamber orchestra of both Western and Chinese instruments in Huang Ruo’s haunting, sensual score that weaves the melismatic vocal style of kunqu with Western tonality.