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Good, honest review. Regarding the seemingly endless costume change w/ Gao Jianli and the maidens in white in Act 2: I think that scene is purposely dragged out (and drag it does) in order to allow all the chorus to change into their costumes and to assemble themselves onstage behind the curtain. Regarding the ripple of laughter when Yueyang regains the ability to walk: you should have seen the smile on my face in the theatre when that happened. It's SO over the top and salaciously ridiculous. And then it turns into something really beautiful. That's good opera.


What else should be eliminated or pared down? I understand the dancer's solo was much longer originally; he performed brilliantly but is it essential to the opera?

I like Haijing Fu and thought the duet of Coburn & Mentzer was attractive, but are the Fu & Mentzer roles necessary?

Another question: if you just watched this opera without reading the program notes or using Met titles, would you really understand it? Even if all the singers had comprehensible diction?


I think that the role of Yueyang's mother needs to be cut entirely. Either that, or give her a more significant function. Also, some of the percussive and more Eastern sounding scene-transition music might become better integrated into the scenes themselves: they provided some of the evening's best music, but they too often seem relegated to the interludes. Finally, the ending needs to be trimmed. I love the two ghost arias, but after that, the final scene drags.


You wrote this review so well! I saw it the night it opened, and hated it. I totally agree with Chalkenteros, the mothers role was pointless.

I had to use the MET titles when I saw it, especially for Domingo and his accent. The first few minutes of the first act I had them turned off and I was completely lost!


Ariel, I was thinking the same thing: without thoroughly reading the program notes and without the MET titles, the opera makes very little sense!

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