Dream of the Red Chamber
David Henry and Bright Sheng
8 principle roles — orchestra (126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 - timp, 3perc, harp, qin - str) — SATB
The Dream of the Red Chamber, a masterpiece of Chinese fiction, is a detailed, episodic record of the lives of the members of the Jia Clan, whose good fortune is assured when one of its daughters becomes an imperial concubine, and then declines after her death. The story centers on a love triangle consisting of the main character, Bao Yu, his beautiful cousin Dai Yu, and his future wife, another beautiful cousin named Bao Chai. Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang have adapted Cao Xue Qin’s epic 18th century Qing Dynasty novel with a focus on eight central characters to tell the tale of the illustrious Jia Clan and traces the Jias' fall from the height of their prestige. Often considered as a semi-autobiographical novel, Sheng and Hwang frame the tale with a Prologue and Epilogue led by The Monk, who may be the author himself.