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Tea: A Mirror of Soul
Chen-Ye Yuan: Seikyo
Ancient Japan. Seikyo, a prince by birth, tells his fellow monks the story of how he came to the temple: Years earlier, in China, seeking to marry Princess Lan, Seikyo confronts her jealous brother, the Prince, and must answer his challenge: find The Book of Tea and reveal its secret wisdom.
In the distant south, Lu, daughter of the Tea Sage, relinquishes the book on condition that Seikyo and Lan vow to spread its truth throughout the world. Before they can read it, the Prince attacks Seikyo, and Lan is killed when she intervenes. The grief-stricken Prince offers himself in sacrifice, but Seikyo declines, choosing instead to cut off his own hair and take a monk’s vow.
Combining sounds of water, paper, ceramic and stone with a traditional western orchestra, Tan Dun’s haunting score is trance-like and beautiful. Tea: A Mirror of Soul is highly theatrical, visually stunning, and charged with eroticism, ritual and poetry. This will be an extraordinary and deeply rewarding opera experience.