Composer Huang Ruo and puppeteer Basil Twist reinterpret Chinese creation myths for the 21st century.
A fantastical world of sunbirds, demons and hairy giants is evoked in Book of Mountains and Seas, a fascinating work of vocal theater for 12 singers, two percussionists and six puppet masters. Composer/librettist Huang Ruo took his inspiration from a classic compilation of Chinese mythology《山海經》first transcribed in the fourth century B.C. Over the years, these stories have become part of Chinese written and oral history, shifted and reshaped to match contemporary times.
First performed in 2021, Huang Ruo's compelling new adaptation of these tales comes to the Broad Stage as LA Opera's 12th collaboration with the groundbreaking Beth Morrison Projects. Told through the lens of our modern-day relationship with the natural world, the ancient stories of creation and destruction conjure a sense of respect and awe for the environment and the water stories challenge us to be good stewards of the natural resources we have been given. Book of Mountains and Seas contains timeless codes about the universe, creation, planet, nature, life, human ambition and fate, the relationship and interaction between mankind and the world we live in.
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"Book of Mountains and Seas is an exquisite masterpiece of suggestion, an immersive tapestry of sound and image that weaves itself into your consciousness and makes its point about the interdependence of humans and their planet without ever saying it outright."
Commissioned, developed and produced by Beth Morrison Projects.
Co-presented with BroadStage at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
Performances take place at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center (1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401).
Performed in Mandarin with English subtitles
Off Grand productions are supported by a consortium of generous donors to
LA Opera’s Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Barry and Nancy Sanders