The Peony Pavilion (opera)

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The Peony Pavilion is a 1998 production by Peter Sellars, in a mix of Chinese and English translation, of the Ming Dynasty play The Peony Pavilion.

Part One is an avant-garde staging of the traditional Kunqu form of Chinese opera's staging of the play, which is how the play is usually performed in China. Part Two is a newly composed two-hour opera by Tan Dun mixing Chinese and western forms and instruments.[1][2]


Sony Classics released a 1998 CD, Bitter Love: A Song Cycle sung in English by Ying Huang and the New York Virtuoso Singers based on portions of the score for Part Two.[3]


  1. ^ The Poetics of Difference and Displacement Page 134 Min Tian - 2008 "The main component of Part Two of Sellars's Peony Pavilion is Tan Dun's composition of a two-hour opera. Tan's music exemplifies the simultaneity, diversity, and heterogeneity of postmodern culture, which "has absolutely no cultural ...""
  2. ^ The Rough Guide to Opera Matthew Boyden, Nick Kimberley, Joe Staines - 2002 "Few composers embrace the implications of a global musical culture as wholeheartedly as Tan Dun, born in China but ... The second, Peony Pavilion (1998), a collaboration with director Peter Sellars, tells an ancient Shanghai opera love story .."
  3. ^ Tang Xianzu Mudan Ting introduction Page 30, translation by Cyril Birch 2002 "... hours to Chen Shi-Zheng's production and another hour to the making of it; Sony has released a CD, Bitter Love: A Song Cycle (based on the opera Peony Pavilion), that features Ying Huang singing portions of Tan Dun's score for Part Two."