Huayi 2019: Painted Skin – An Opera in Concert
Date: 23 February 2019, Saturday
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Co-commissioned by China Shanghai International Arts Festival,Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts (Singapore) and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Give it to me. Give all your heart to me.
An exciting fusion of Western operatic style and Peking Opera elements, Painted Skin – An Opera in Concert is an ambitious adaptation of the classic Chinese short story from Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling. Presented as an opera in concert, a dramatic narrative unfolds, revealing an inner world of greed, lust and hypocrisy concealed under the glamorous veneers that humans wear.
A Chinese scholar chances upon a beautiful woman crying in the rain while on his way home. He gives her an umbrella out of kindness, unaware that she is actually a demon in disguise, wearing a mask made of human skin painted with beautiful features. Besotted with the scholar, the demon charms him. A romantic relationship ensues but eventually results in tragedy.
A co-commission by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, China Shanghai International Arts Festival, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and produced by Major Performing Arts Group, Painted Skin is an innovative and creative musical interpretation of a classic tale. The production sees the acclaimed Singapore Chinese Orchestra collaborating with a creative team comprising scriptwriter Wang Yuanfei, renowned composer Hao Weiya, pioneering director Yi Liming, under the baton of maestro Tsung Yeh.
Coupled with live multimedia projections and contemporary theatrical elements, the story is brought to life by a talented cast including mezzo-soprano, soprano and Peking Opera actor, accompanied by an ensemble of leading musicians from Singapore Chinese Orchestra.
The hearts of humans,
Are they crimson, or are they black?
Co-commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, China Shanghai International Arts Festival, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and produced by Major Performing Arts Group.
Wang Yuanfei scriptwriter
Hao Weiya composer
Yi Liming director
Dong Fang as Scholar Wang (impersonated by Mezzo-soprano)
Li Jing Jing as Mrs Wang (Soprano)
Liu Zheng as Ghost Gui Yan (Peking Opera Actor)
Tsung Yeh conductor
Singapore Chinese Orchestra ensemble
Li Bao Shun, She Ling gaohu & erhu
Zhu Lin, Shen Qin, Tan Man Man, Qin Zi Jing erhu
Lin Gao zhonghu
Wong Qin Kai zhonghu & musical saw
Xu Zhong, Xu Xuena cello
Zhang Hao double bass
Ma Huan yangqin
Yu Jia pipa
Huang Gui Fang zhongruan & sanxian
Jing Po daruan
Xu Hui guzheng & percussion
Yin Zhi Yang, Lim Sin Yeo dizi, xiao, xun
Zhong Zhi Yue, Cheng Ho Kwan Kevin sheng
Jin Shi Yi suona
Han Lei guanzi
Xu Fan, Boo Chong Wei Benjamin percussion